Legal Question in Native American Law in Georgia

Native Americans illegally tried under american law

My question is: If a Native American is set to be tried under American law, how do you get the case turned over to Native American courts and legal system?

Asked on 7/03/03, 1:57 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Regina Mullen Legal Data Services, PLC

Re: Native Americans illegally tried under american law

There's no automatic right to be tried in Native American courts simply by virtue of being a Native Ameican.

There are two issues, at least, that have to be resolved: 1) is the offense one that is under the SUBJECT MATTER jurisdiction of the Nation in question, and 2) did the offense occur in a LOCATION so as to subject it to tribal jurisdiction. This can be a very complicated matter, so I suggest that you turn to the Nation in question if there is any doubt. Of course, a Sioux who allegedly commits a crime on Navaho territory has a lot more issues to deal with, but this is at least a (free) start.

You can always have your lawyer research and file a motion, but chances are if the person is already in court under US government supervision, it will be difficult to get it transferred since the court has already concluded that it had jurisdiction to accept the case. If your lawyer determines that jurisdiction is iffy,--or that tribal jurisdiction is mandatory, then by all means file a motion to have the case transferred.

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Answered on 7/03/03, 4:38 pm

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