Unlike criminal courts (where tribal courts have only limited jurisdiction over some non-Indian domestic violence perpetrators), tribal courts have expansive civil jurisdiction over non-Indians.
Tribal courts can hear civil cases related to sexual violence provided the court has both “personal jurisdiction” over the parties and “subject matter jurisdiction” over the issue in question.
Tribal courts have personal jurisdiction over any perpetrator who has:
-Minimum contacts with the tribe (e.g. committed an act of sexual violence on tribal lands, is present on tribal lands, is doing business on tribal lands, etc.) OR
-Who has consented to the jurisdiction of the court OR
Tribal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over cases where:
-The conduct in question (sexual violence) occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the tribal court AND
-The defendant :
a.) Is a member of or eligible for membership with that tribe OR
b.) Is a member of another tribe or a is a non-Indian AND
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