Establishing Penalties for Violations of Protection Orders: What Tribal Governments Need to Know
14 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2008
The protection order has proven to be a very effective tool in the war against domestic violence, but its value is only as broad as its enforceability. Enforceability can be a problem for people who work, travel, and live in different jurisdictions. A protection order is, after all, a court order and often a temporary one at that, and enforcement of a court order outside the issuing court's jurisdiction can be tricky at best and impossible at worst. In an effort to address these enforceability problems, Congress included a full faith and credit provision in the omnibus Violence Against Women Act, requiring all states and all tribes to recognize and enforce protection orders issued by other states and other tribes. The full faith and credit provisions are both a boon and a burden for tribal governments. On the positive side, the statute reflects Congress' recognition that tribal governments are legitimate governments with court systems that issue protection orders. On the negative side, Congress has complicated the tasks for tribal governments and tribal courts by leaving the extent of tribal court authority over nonmembers ambiguous. This essay, published in the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, explores the import of the VAWA's full faith and credit provisions and how tribal governments can take full advantage of those provisions to maximize the protection afforded to those shielded by protection orders.
Keywords: protection order, VAWA, domestic violence, tribal courts, Indian law, Native American Law
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation