Federal Indian Law - Domestic Violence

The field of federal Indian Law regulates the legal relationships between Indian Tribes, the United States, and States. It is incredibly complex and has significance for everyone.

This federal Indian legal toolkit was created to assist new and experienced judges in cases involving domestic violence by providing easy access to law and other resources.


Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: Enforcement Issues Overview Information.


Federal: Violence Against Women Act (18 U.S.C. § 2265) mandates full faith and credit for domestic violence protection orders
State/California: California's Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act
Tribal Legal Code Resource:  Domestic Violence Laws, Guide for Drafting or Revising Victim-Centered Tribal Laws Against Domestic Violence
Tribal Codes in California: (under construction)

Judicial Council Publications and Job Aids

Domestic Violence in Tribal Communities Benchguide
Recognition and Enforcement of Tribal Protective Orders
Crossover Issues Relating to the Indian Child Welfare Act and Domestic Violence

Elder Abuse in Tribal Communities Benchguide

Public Law 280 Jurisdiction Information

Other Publications

  • Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2005)
  • American Indian Law, in a Nut Shell, 5th ed., William C. Canby, Jr., St Paul, MN; West Thompson Reuters (2009)
  • American Indian Law Deskbook / Conference of Western Attorneys General, Boulder, Colorado University Press of Colorado, (2011)
  • American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System: Cases and Materials, Robert N. Clinton, Carole E. Goldberg, et al. Sixth Edition, (2008)

Subscription Databases  

  • American Indian Law Review (LEXIS, WESTLAW).  A law review devoted exclusively to Indian law, and provides a forum for scholarly writing in the areas of the law that particularly affect American Indians.
  • Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800 – 1926.  A searchable collection of 19th and 20th century legal treatises, casebooks, local practice manuals, form books, pamphlets, letters, speeches, and other historical legal works, covering a wide range of topics of US and British law for over 21,000 works. The results of a search for "Indian tribes" include the full, scanned texts of numerous titles.
  • National Indian Law Library Indian Law Bulletins (Native American Rights Fund). The purpose of the Indian Law Bulletins is to provide succinct and timely information about new developments in Indian Law.


Tribal Leaders Discuss Importance of VAWA 2013 Improvements
Tribal Protective Order, Court  video icon
Tribal Protective Order, Street   video icon

On-line Courses

Tribal Protection Orders

Other Resources