Federal appeals court rules Washington has jurisdiction over crimes involving non-Native Americans on reservation
July 2, 2020
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Monday that Washington state has jurisdiction over crimes involving non-Native Americans on the Yakama Nation reservation.
Public Law 280, which was passed in 1953, gave states the “consent of the United States” to assume full jurisdiction over causes of action on Native American reservations by state legislative act. Washington assumed some of this power in 1963. In 1968, states were authorized to voluntarily give up “all or any measure of the criminal or civil jurisdiction, or both,” that it had acquired through “retrocession.”
In 2012, Washington codified a process through which tribes can request retrocession through a petition. The Yakama Nation then requested full retrocession of the civil and criminal jurisdiction that Washington had over the Yakama Nation.