Rosebud Amends Criminal Code to comply with VAWA, TLOA

ROSEBUD RESERVATION – The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council approved legislation last week to amend their law and order code to comply with federal criminal laws.

In 2018, the tribal council approved Resolution 2018-95 to protect the women, men and children of the tribe against violence. The Resolution also adopted the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-4, Sec. 904, 905) to prosecute non-Indians under its inherent right to punish those who violate tribal laws within its territory.

Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) the tribe has the federal legal authority to exercise jurisdiction over non-Indians who reside, work, or who are a spouse, intimate or dating partner of an Indian residing with the Tribe’s territorial jurisdiction, and have subjected a victim to domestic violence, dating violence or criminal violation of a protection order.

Ordinance 2020-03 was adopted last week to clarify the area of jurisdiction the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has over crimes committed against tribal citizens. This legislation, adopted through Resolution 2020-03, reads in part: “The Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s criminal jurisdiction shall extend to the territory within the original confines of the Rosebud Reservation boundaries as established by the act of March 2, 1889, and to such other lands as may hereafter be added thereto under any laws of the United States, except as otherwise provided by law…The criminal jurisdiction of the Tribe shall extend to all Indians and all other persons whom the exercise of criminal jurisdiction by the Tribe is authorized or permitted by federal law.

“The Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s criminal jurisdiction shall extend to non-Indians who by federal law are subject to the Tribe’s special jurisdiction who commit violent crimes specifically domestic violence and dating violence against Indians within the Tribe’s jurisdiction. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s special criminal jurisdiction shall extend to criminal protection order violations under 5-44-7 [of the RST Law & Order Code]. The conditions for a non-Indian who violates the Tribes’ domestic violence and dating violence [laws] are: (1) reside within the territorial jurisdiction of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; or (2) Is employed within the territorial jurisdiction of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; or (3) Is a spouse, intimate partner, or dating partner of: a. a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; or b. An Indian who resides within the territorial jurisdiction of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.”

In addition, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is committed to exercising special domestic and dating violence jurisdiction over non-Indians who abuse Indian people within its territorial boundaries and will enforce its inherent authority over protection order violations by adopting Title 5, Chapter 44, Domestic and Dating Violence code and repealing Title 5, Chapter 38 in its entirety, to protect the women and children. This legislation was adopted as Ordinance 2020-01.

The tribal council also adopted changes to the RST Law & Order Code by adding Title 5, Chapter 2, Section 5 (5-2-5) which identifies Class F crimes as felonies. A Class F crime carries a maximum term of confinement as three (3) years, a fine of $15,000 or both. In addition, a person who is found guilty of multiple Class F offenses under this Section can be sentenced to nine (9) years in the tribal jail, a fine of $15,000 or both, as well as court costs. This legislation was adopted as Ordinance 2020-02.

The tribal council conducted their first reading on the amendments to the Law & Order Code last week. All required readings at the tribal council level must be completed before these amendments are valid. Also, the RST Adult Correction Facility must obtain certification to house inmates who are sentenced for conviction of Class F felony crimes. Tribal officials are currently working to get that certification in place.

The Tribal Council also approved Resolution 2020-04 which states that all references to “children” in the RST Law & Order Code, Section 1. Code Interpretation, be changed to “wakanyeja.”

For more information, please call the Tribal Secretary’s Office at 605-747-2381.


Published by Vi Waln


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