If the abuser is a non-Indian, can a tribal court enforce a protection order?
Tribes have the ability to enforce a protection order. In addition, tribes can investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence non-Indians who commit domestic violence against Indian spouses or dating partners or violate a protection order in Indian country under VAWA’s special domestic violence jurisdiction. The law requires that the non-Indian have the following connections with the Indian victim and Indian community:
- s/he lives in the Indian country of the participating tribe;
- s/he is employed in the Indian country of the participating tribe; or
- s/he is the spouse, intimate partner, or dating partner of:
- a member of the participating tribe; or
- an Indian who resides in the Indian country of the participating tribe.1
You can find more information about VAWA’s special domestic violence jurisdiction on the National Congress of American Indians website.
1 25 U.S.C.A. § 1304(b)(4)(B), (c)