1. Indian is a legal term of art. The term
“Native American” is, in my view, more
culturally appropriate but in this article
I have used the term “Indian” because it
has a legal significance.
2. For the purposes of criminal jurisdiction,
a person is an Indian if he has 1) a substantial percentage of Indian blood and 2)
tribal or federal recognition as an Indian.
See, e.g., State v. Daniels, 104 Wn. App. 271,
278, 16 P.3d 650 (2001); Goforth v. State,
644 P.2d 114, 116 (Okl. Ct. App. 1982).
3. 18 USC 1151 defines Indian Country as
“(a) all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of
the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and,
including rights-of-way running through
the reservation, (b) all dependent Indian
communities within the borders of the
United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory
thereof, and whether within or without
the limits of a state, and (c) all Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have
IN MARITIME PERSONAL INJURY CASES
WE CHART THE COURSE
TO A WATERTIGHT CLAIM
At Kraft Palmer Davies, PLLC, we have a proven
track record of building strong cases and going
the extra mile to maximize our clients’ recoveries.
Our legal team has the knowledge, resources,
and experience earned from over 70 years of
successfully fighting for the injured.
We welcome your referrals and associations
FISHERMEN & PROCESSORS
TUG & BARGE WORKERS
CRUISE LINE PASSENGERS
BLUE WATER SEAMEN
Robert M. Kraft, Lance Palmer ,
Richard J. Davies, Marissa A. Olsson
*Admitted in Washington and Alaska
EXPERIENCED LAWYERS FOR THE INJURED
CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURIES
MOTOR VEHICLE INJURIES
PERSONAL INJURY & WRONGFUL DEATH
1001 FOURTH AVENUE, SUITE 4131 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98154 W WW.ADMIRALTY.COM
not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.”
4. Congress delegated to the State authority
to handle civil and criminal matters that
occur in Indian Country through Public
Law 280 whose criminal provisions are
seen at 18 U.S.C. § 1162 and the majority of Washington Tribes have agreed to
the State assuming jurisdiction in eight
limited circumstances: 1) compulsory
school attendance; 2) public assistance;
3) domestic relations; 4) mental illness;
5) juvenile delinquency; 6) adoption
proceedings; 7) dependent children; and
8) operation of motor vehicles upon the
public streets, alleys, roads and highways
. . . RCW 37. 12.010. Generally speaking, if
a criminal act occurs in Indian Country
and the act occurred on trust land, then
the state does not have criminal jurisdiction. State v. Flett, 40 Wn. App. 277, 283,
699 P.2d 774 (1985).
5. An Indian criminal defendant can challenge state jurisdiction at any time: arraignment, plea, sentencing, or in a collateral attack on the conviction. Arquette
v. Schneckloth, 56 Wn.2d 178, 179–80, 351
P.2d 921 (1960). A guilty plea will not bar
a later challenge to jurisdiction. Wesley v.
Schneckloth, 55 Wn.2d 90, 93, 346 P.2d
658 (1959); Daniels, 104 Wn. App. at 275.
6. A Tribe is able to exercise its inherent
tribal authority to prosecute nonmember
Indians. United States v. Lara, 541 U.S.
193, 210, 124 S. Ct. 1628, 1639, 158 L. Ed.
2d 420 (2004).
7. See Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436
U.S. 49, at 56 (1978) (citing Talton v.
Mayes, 163 U.S. 376, 384 (1896)).
8. See 25 USC §1302(a)( 1).
9. See 25 USC §1302(a)( 7)(B).
10. See 25 USC §1302(a)( 7)(D) (previously
only one year and a $5,000 fine maximum).
11. See 25 USC §1302(c) (which may not necessarily require a state bar).
12. To date, the only tribe that has so far
adopted the TLOA in full is the Hopi in
13. The General Crimes Act, the Major
Crimes Act, and Public Law 280 are the
three federal laws central to the exercise
of criminal jurisdiction in Indian country.
See 18 USC § 1152 (codifying the General
Crimes Act, as amended, 1153 (
codifying the Major Crimes Act, as amended),
and 1162 (codifying Public Law 280, as