Federal Appeals Court Affirms Extra-Territorial Criminal Jurisdiction Over Tribal Members
The Federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee) recently affirmed criminal jurisdiction over tribal members for criminal acts committed outside of the tribal reservation boundaries.
In Kelsey v Pope, et. al., the plaintiff challenged his conviction of a misdemeanor for conduct occurring at the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) Community Center, which is located on land owned by LRBOI, but not within tribal reservation boundaries. The plaintiff challenged LRBOI's criminal jurisdiction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, which ruled LRBOI lacked criminal jurisdiction to try and punish the plaintiff's off-reservation conduct.