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Local Tribes Turn to Western Due Process to Combat Crimes on Reservations

The Southern California Intertribal Court, the first of its kind in Southern California, will soon have a new permanent home on the Rincon reservation. The Law Center marks a tribal shift towards a m

Local Tribes Turn to Western Due Process to Combat Crimes on Reservations

Tom Fudge : Who's the law on San Diego Indian reservations? It's a good question, and not just for the people who live there. Let's say you go to one of the local casinos and someone bangs you over the head and takes you wallet. Who's going to investigate and prosecute the case, and who's going to be the judge? What if some business on tribal land takes your money and won't give it back? Can you take them to small claims court? And what law applies? Is it federal law or California law?

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In San Diego County many of those questions are in the process of being answered, and in many cases the answer may be the Southern California Intertribal Court. The court is newly created and it has made a home for itself on the Rincon Reservation. So far the court is serving 11 different Indian bands. You may know that San Diego county has 17 tribes in all.

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