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Working Effectively with Tribal Governments

Federal Indian Law and Policy

Other federal statutes affecting criminal jurisdiction

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Besides P.L. 280, there are several other federal statutes which affect criminal jurisdiction in Indian country.

  • The Major Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. 1153) creates federal court jurisdiction for certain offenses committed by Indians in Indian country.
  • The Indian Country Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. 1152), sometimes called the General Crimes Act, creates federal court jurisdiction for certain types of offenses committed by Indians against non-Indian victims, and for all offenses committed by non-Indians against Indian victims.
  • The Indian Civil Rights Act (25 U.S.C. 1302(7)) contains a provision which limits the penalty which tribal courts can impose in criminal cases to one year imprisonment or a $5,000 fine, or both, for any single offense.


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