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Legal Information: Tribal

Tribal Law

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March 12, 2010

Is my tribal protection order valid outside the reservation? If I have a protection order by the state court, is it valid on the reservation?

Yes. Under most circumstances, a protection order is valid in all 50 states, Washington D.C., on all tribal land and in all U.S. Territories, according to the Full Faith and Credit Section of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).*

Note: It is important to know that Full Faith and Credit for protection orders issued from tribal governments has been slow in receiving recognition by jurisdictions outside of tribal lands.

Even though, by law, your tribal court protection order is valid in any jurisdiction throughout the country, what has been happening in some places is that women have been required by some state courts to also petition in their state courts for an order off the reservation.

You may want to consult with an attorney or ask the clerk of court about this-- you should not have to file for more than one protection order at any given time. You may want to make sure that the state courts know about your tribal court-issued order and have registered it.

* 18 USC §2265