Jurisdiction in Indian Country

According to most recent census data, California is home to more people of Native American/ Alaska Native heritage than any other state in the Country.  There are currently 110 federally recognized Indian tribes in California and 78 entities petitioning for recognition. Tribes in California currently have nearly 100 separate reservations or Rancherias.  There are also a number of individual Indian trust allotments.  These lands constitute “Indian Country”, and a different jurisdictional applies in Indian Country. For Indians and Indian Country there are special rules that govern state and local jurisdiction.  There may also be federal and tribal laws that apply.


Overview of Jurisdictional Issues in California Regarding Indians and Indian Country.

Overview of Tribal Justice Systems

Public Law 280 Curriculum
This webinar gives an introduction to issues of jurisdiction in California Indian lands.

Public Law 280 Curriculum
This curriculum is intended to provide an overview of Public Law 280.

Interjurisdictional Case Scenarios
These case scenarios are video clips that illustrate interjurisdictional issues impacting tribal and state courts.

Guardianship video icon
Judge to Judge Communication  video icon
Juvenile Court Jurisdiction  video icon
Traffic Stop Jurisdiction  video icon
Tribal Court Trespass  video icon
Tribal Protective Order, Court  video icon
Tribal Protective Order, Street   video icon

Cow County Institute (2014), Jurisdiction and Tribal Land

Jurisdictional Charts

More Resources 

• National Center for State Courts Tribal Courts Resource Guide

• Tribal Law and Policy Institute Clearinghouse on Public Law 280