Contempt of Court

A critical civil power of Tribal courts is the power to issue a protection order for the victim.

Essentially, a protection order is a court order issued to prevent violence or threats of violence against a victim.

The most common provisions contained in protection orders include ordering a defendant to:

  • Attend alcohol, substance abuse, or mental health treatment

  • Stay away from the victim

  • Stay away from places that the victim frequents (school, work, church, etc.)

  • Prohibit contacting the victim through third parties

  • Not possess firearms or ammunition or other weapons or reside in a home where they are present

  • Pay restitution to the victim to compensate her for economic losses related to the violence (time off of work, medical expenses, mileage, child care, etc.)

  • Not possess or consume drugs or alcohol or reside in a home where they are present

  • Attend batterer re-education courses

Violation of a protection order can result in arrest for any new crime committed (trespassing, assault, etc.), contempt of court, and apprehension for the crime of violation of a protection order. Under federal law, a person can also be charged with the federal crime of Interstate Violation of a Protection Order if the defendant intentionally crossed state or Tribal lines to commit the violation.

Contact NICCSA

PO Box: 2100 E Speedway Blvd, Box 40805, Tucson, AZ 85719

Phone: (520) 623-8192
Fax: (520) 623-8246

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*NICCSA is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy ( This project is supported by Grant No. 2017-SA-AX-K001, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.