New Texas Ordinance Requires Police Get Approval to Enter Tribal Lands

An ordinance that was recently passed by the Tigua tribal council in Texas requires state police get approval before attempting to go undercover on tribal lands to gather evidence.

The ordinance, which came on the heels of an attorney general inquiry into the potential gaming violations by the Tiguas, extends to police and government officials, as well as members of the news media. The Tigua tribe had previously argued in court that agents with the state had wrongly entered tribal centers and filmed claims of illegal gambling with hidden cameras.

The tribe has argued in court documents that it is a sovereign entity, and therefore reserves the right to determine the limits of the reservation, including access by non-members. In total, the reservation comprises roughly 4,000 acres of land separated over three large parcels, as well as a collection of smaller plots.

“Covered individuals” may, according to the ordinance, receive special permission to enter public reservation spaces, but those found in violation of the ordinance could risk facing a fine of up to $2,000.

Native American (Tribal) Law Disputes

Many corners of the country, especially the Midwestern and Southwestern regions, are home to communities rich with Native American heritage, including reservations where Native American Law, or tribal law, is established.

When it comes to Native American law, there are a number of relationships to consider. Oftentimes, when disputes arise, they are particular to a certain relationship dynamic, such as:

  • Intra-tribal relationship
  • State-tribal relationship
  • Federal-tribal relationship
  • Any relationship between individual Native Americans whose rights implicate the tribe, the country or their state of residence

It is also common to see disputes arise between individual members of a tribe and non-Native Americans, or those between members of the same tribe.

In any case involving Native American law, it is important to have legal representation that understands the nuances of tribal law, and is capable of litigating issues as they are interpreted in the tribal constitution.

If you or someone you know is engaged in a tribal law dispute, or if you are dealing with a case that requires the interpretation of tribal law, there are attorneys in the Oklahoma City area that can help. Due to the fact that this is a specialized area of law, it is critical that, when enlisting any legal help, you turn to someone well-versed in the nuances of Native American law.

Help with Your Native American Law Case in Oklahoma

For those dealing with tribal law disputes in the Norman, Oklahoma area, the attorneys at Rick Dane Moore & Associates Law Firm, P.L.L.C. are able to provide the specialized legal advice you need. Our firm has more than 30 years of experience in handling the many facets of tribal law, and our founder has served as an attorney general to several tribes, as well as serving as prosecutor for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Regardless of your Native American law issue, our attorneys have the skills and experience necessary to see your case through to a successful end.

To have your case assessed by a member of our tribal law team, contact the skilled attorneys at Rick Dane Moore & Associates Law Firm, P.L.L.C. today at (405) 366-0373.