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Hon. Eric Mehnert

Chief Judge

Penobscot Nation Tribal Courts

Hon. Eric M. Mehnert has served as the Chief Judge of the Penobscot Nation Tribal Court since 2008. He presides over the Nation’s Criminal and Civil Courts as well as the Nation’s Wellness Court. He tells anyone who will listen that it is the best job he ever had, and ever hopes to have. He has also served as the Wellness Court Judge for the Hopi Tribe in Arizona. He was appointed in 2016 to help establish the Tribe’s Wellness Court, which is now fully active. In 2019 he worked with the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe in Wisconsin to help establish their Wellness Court, and it is fully active. He has presented on the benefits of Wellness Courts at seminars hosted by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the North American Indian Court Judges Association, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the American Bar Association, and the Maine Bar Association. He serves as a Contract Judge for the Bureau of Indian Affairs where he is a member of a team reviewing Tribal Courts to assist in meeting the due process requirements of the Tribal Law and Order Act and Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction under the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

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