2 thoughts on “Washington SCT Grants Review in Case Involving State Search Warrant on Tribal Lands

  1. Brent Leonhard September 10, 2012 / 6:00 pm

    Interesting. Arguably, RCW 37.12.010 explicitly does not extend state jurisdiction – criminal or civil – over the execution of a search warrant in this case. As the state statute reads, “…such assumption of jurisdiction shall not apply to Indians when on their tribal lands or allotted lands within an established Indian reservation …” Hicks dealt with state process regarding an off-reservation crime. This is different. Washington’s PL 280 statute precludes the state’s exercise of jurisdiction by its plain terms. The question appears to be whether the state has jurisdiction to execute a search warrant regarding an Indian on a trust allotment – the statute quite clearly says it does not. And, absent RCW 37.12.010, Washington would not have any jursdiction over the underlying conduct. This is all the more disconcerting given the the tribe itself had concurrent jurisdiction over the crime and the state could easily have gone to tribal court to get a warrant – or at least attempted to do so.

    I hope Mr. Graham reaches out to tribes potentially affected by a ruling in this case (which, after State v. Jim, includes the CRITFC tribes) and I hope he asks them to file an amicus brief in the case.

  2. Steve Graham September 11, 2012 / 4:04 pm

    Yes, we are definitely receptive to Amici. I am sure the Colvilles aren’t the only ones with the problem of county cops traipsing around without search warrants signed by tribal judges.

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