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Tribal DV Courts and Special DV Criminal Jurisdiction
Tribal Domestic Violence Courts and Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction
Publication Date: 2017
Responding to domestic violence more safely and effectively is a top priority for many tribal justice systems, especially given the high rates of domestic violence experienced by Native women. Strengthening the tribal justice response can take many, interrelated forms, but may include planning and operating a specialized Domestic Violence Court as well as implementing Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ) under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). VAWA enumerates several due process protections that must be in place for a tribe to implement SDVCJ, including a law-trained judge, defense attorneys, and maintenance of court records, and these requirements have substantial resource implications. However, these requirements can perhaps be more easily met by tribes that also operate a Domestic Violence Court, and once these practices are in place, they can in turn strengthen the operations of the Domestic Violence Court. This resource delineates the principles of the Domestic Violence Court model that complement and enable the SDVCJ requirements.