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  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: New Mexico Greetings. After living on an Indian Reservation for over 7 years, the new Tribal Counsel and Governor changed the law on this reservation saying that where I lived was sacred land and I had one day to move. The house we lived in was given to my spouse from her grandmother. I received an order stating that I could not "reside" in the sacred part of the land, but nothing said I could not visit my children and spouse on the land. We stayed in hotels and with family in the meantime, occasionally going to the house to get belongings and supplies. My Tribal member spouse was not prohibited from going to the house and would go their several times a week. Shortly after this, my spouse and her family invited me to attend a parade on Child Abuse. Every year we attended this parade and it passed by this house that we used to live in. We would stand on the edge if the property and observe the parade. This year my spouse and her family invited me to attend the parade again. I attended the parade and at some point went inside to use the bathroom. At that time, the tribal police made contact with my spouse and asked what i was doing there. She advised that I was visiting my kids and watching the parade. The tribal police officer called his supervisor, and then advised my spouse that as long as I was just visiting my kids and attending the parade it was ok. The tribal police officer then left and stated "Have a nice day." Any reasonable person of average intelligence would presume at that point that everything was ok. After the parade we went inside the house to get some clothes and belongings, because of their ridiculous deadline, we still had a lot of things in the house. Approximately, 30 minutes later the Tribal Police came back and blocked us in from leaving. A tribal sherrif began yelling at my spouse saying, "he can't be here, you are going to get yourself and him into trouble for bringing him here." The Tribal Sheriff then told me that I had to get permission from the Tribal Governor to visit my kids there, and that was what the court order stated. I advised him that I have a Degree in Criminal Justice and study law and nothing in the order stated that I could not visit my children on indian land. All it stated was that I could not reside in that particular house. I advised him that a brief visit was not the same thing as living there. He at that time became angry with me and made a crab like motion with his left hand at me. This motion was apparently a sign for the other tribal police officer to handcuff me. I advised the officer that I was in the process of leaving. To my surprise the officer lied and stated, "the parade was over 2 hours ago you already had your chance to leave." I stated no that is not true it was 40 minutes ago. He then placed me in the back of the police car. It seemed like I was arrested for talking back to the Tribal Sheriff, however, his ignorance of the order was irritating. Once at the police station, several police officers who were not present told me "we told your spouse that you had to leave by 10:30 am or we would arrest you." Four different officers stated this to me. I advised that that was not true, had my spouse had been told that we would of left immediately, we had been told since I was visiting my kids it was ok, and to have a nice day. They all stated, "well tell it to the judge cause that is what the report is going to say. Two female officers lied stated they were standing right there when they said that, and my spouse and daughter advised the officers were not standing there, and had never got out of the car. Then another tribal police officer said, "boo yeah, boo yea, your on the res yo, your on the res yo." So, I was invited to attend a parade, by Tribal Members. Tribal Police initially advised it was ok to visit my kids and attend the parade. Then they came back 40 minutes later and blocked us in, then changed their story only at the sub station that I had been warned to leave at 10:30 am. So the police advise I could attend, then lied about it later on and advised all there reports would say the same thing. They also, advised, that "this is what the Spanish had did to them. I have a Degree in Criminal Justice, have a background in Corrections and Security, have a Conceal Weapons Permit, and am an aspiring police officer, I can't believe they lied. I feel like I was set up. Tribal Sovereignty is being used as cover to commit race crimes, as they stated I was only arrested for the blood in my veins, "non indian" they kept saying. The order I received stated that I could not "reside" in the sacred area. It did not state that I was prohibited from going there whatsoever, as the tribal sheriff immplied, it simply was not on the order. Nothing said I was denied consent to visit, as this was my spouse's house and she was giving me consent to visit her, and I was not residing there. I do not believe this case meets all the requirements for a "criminal trespass change. Really, it's legal racism on the reservation, and the law needs to change, and evolve.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Tacoma, WA
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    1,202

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    Well, since you never actually asked a question, I have no idea what information you are seeking. However, I can tell you that Tribal jurisdiction, laws, and authority vary GREATLY from one reservation to another. Some tribes have no courts or police and law enforcement/criminal justice services are provided by local state authorities. Other tribes are almost fully autonomous even with regards to Federal authority for anything short of serious felonies. So, only someone with specific experience and knowledge of the laws and authority of the specific tribe you are having conflict with can give you knowledgeable advice. However, with that said, I am not aware of any tribe anywhere in the country that has the authority to impose Tribal law on non-Native Americans. If a non-Native commits a crime in Indian Country, he/she has to be prosecuted in a state or Federal court for a violation of a state or Federal statute. Your post seems to imply that you were arrested by Tribal law enforcement, booked into a Tribal jail, and are to be tried in a Tribal court. If any Tribal government has the jurisdiction to do that, it is news to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    14,803

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    The good news is they still have no authority over you. Tell them to pound sand. That does not mean you can go back. Here is an interesting article on the issue.

    http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stori...03?news=847237
    Dear Santa. For Xmas this year I want a fat bank account and a slim body. Please don't mix them up again.
    Why do stores in the US have so many undocumented shoppers?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    8

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    Thanks for responding, and let me clarify. I was arrested by tribal police and booked into the county, jail, and charged with the NM State Statute for Criminal Trespassing. They told me they had no jurisdiction over me, so they charged me with the crime, and it will be prosecuted in The Counties Metropolitan Court. The tribe has no statute on trespassing, so they write the citation, then it gets persecuted in regular court off the reservation. My question is can I use the fact that I was invited to attend the parade as a defense to the charge? Tribal members invited me to the parade, then first the regular city Tribal Uniformed Police advised it was ok, to visit my kids, have a nice day etc. Then the Elder Tribal Sheriff, no uniform long hair etc, can down and said "the order says you can't be here, or visit your kids unless the Tribal Governor say's you can." I advised him, the order specifically says's I cannot reside there, but does not state that I cannot visit, if invited by tribal members. He became angry, and advised the regular uniformed tribal police to arrest me. They told me "We don't know what kind of loopholes that order has, so you are just being arrested for trespassing." Then they lied and said the parade had been over for 2 hours. Then later at there sub station after I was arrested they, and others who were not there told me they told my wife that I would be arrested if i did not leave by 10:30 am. I was arrested at 10:50 am. I advised them my girlfriend was told I could visit my kids. Then all the police including ones who were not present all said, "the report is going to say that we told her you had to leave by 10:30, or you would be arrested, tell it to the judge, or something to that effect. My intent on this forum is to find a defense to this charge. Also, upon concluding my arrest one officer told me "well the Spanish did this to us. I was in the process of leaving when they blocked me in as this transpired as well. I feet that it was a crime on their part of racism, as I was arrested for my blood, which is legal on indian land, but still a crime against humanity. I am looking for any defense to this, and I wish I could sue them for false arrest, false imprisonment, etc, however, I don't think I can because of Tribal Sovereignty. Please, anyone, is there any kind of help I can get for this?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    14,803

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    You have the right to plead not guilty and go through a trial.
    Dear Santa. For Xmas this year I want a fat bank account and a slim body. Please don't mix them up again.
    Why do stores in the US have so many undocumented shoppers?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,916

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    Is this reservation a state reservation or a federal reservation?

    what court issued this order you keep speaking of?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    8

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    It is a Federal reservation. The order was issued by the Tribal Governor, so it would be the Tribal Court. The citation was written under the state statute, to be heard in Metro, not Tribal Court. I assume the tribal police officer will be present to act as the witness and the prosecutor, and the case is scheduled to go on in Metro Court. Thanks!!!

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    My understanding of the application of the laws for a federal reservation is: the state has no authority to prosecute a crime on the reservation. It would be prosecuted by the federal authorities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    So to recap. I was invited to a parade on the reservation by tribal members. The tribal police said it was ok. Approximately, 40 minutes later they came back, blocked us in the driveway and arrested me for trespassing. They booked me into the County, not Tribal jail, as they have no jurisdiction over non indians. The case will be heard in state court. Since, I was invited to the parade as a guest will that be a affirmative defense to the charge? The police officer first advised it was ok to attend the parade since I was visiting my kids. Then they come back and arrest me. Do these facts add up as a defense? Any reasonable person would of presumed that after the police officer advised, "it is ok, visit your kids, have a nice day" it was ok to attend the parade. Then they come back 40 minutes later and arrested me for trespassing saying I could not be in village. Tribal members have the right to invite guests over don't they? I was there by invitation only, is this a defense? I was not intending to trespass, and think this is a crime against humanity to be arrested for your bloodline.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PUBLIC LAW 109–133—DEC. 20, 2005 119 STAT. 2573
    Public Law 109–133
    109th Congress
    An Act
    To amend the Act of June 7, 1924, to provide for the exercise of criminal jurisdiction.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
    the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SECTION 1. INDIAN PUEBLO LAND ACT AMENDMENTS.
    The Act of June 7, 1924 (43 Stat. 636, chapter 331), is amended
    by adding at the end the following:
    ‘‘SEC. 20. CRIMINAL JURISDICTION.
    ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as otherwise provided by Congress,
    jurisdiction over offenses committed anywhere within the exterior
    boundaries of any grant from a prior sovereign, as confirmed by
    Congress or the Court of Private Land Claims to a Pueblo Indian
    tribe of New Mexico, shall be as provided in this section.
    ‘‘(b) JURISDICTION OF THE PUEBLO.—The Pueblo has jurisdiction,
    as an act of the Pueblos’ inherent power as an Indian tribe, over
    any offense committed by a member of the Pueblo or an Indian
    as defined in title 25, sections 1301(2) and 1301(4), or by any
    other Indian-owned entity.
    ‘‘(c) JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES.—The United States
    has jurisdiction over any offense described in chapter 53 of title
    18, United States Code, committed by or against an Indian as
    defined in title 25, sections 1301(2) and 1301(4) or any Indianowned entity, or that involves any Indian property or interest.
    ‘(d) JURISDICTION OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO.—The State
    of New Mexico shall have jurisdiction over any offense committed
    by a person who is not a member of a Pueblo or an Indian as
    25 USC 331 note.

    Native
    Americans.
    New Mexico.
    Dec. 20, 2005
    [S. 279]
    VerDate 14-DEC-2004 16:29 Dec 27, 2005 Jkt 049139 PO 00133 Frm 00001 Fmt 6580 Sfmt 6581 E:\PUBLAW\PUBL133.109 APPS24 PsN: PUBL133119 STAT. 2574 PUBLIC LAW 109–133—DEC. 20, 2005
    LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—S. 279:
    CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 151 (2005):
    July 26, considered and passed Senate.
    Dec. 6, considered and passed House.
    Æ
    defined in title 25, sections 1301(2) and 1301(4), which offense
    is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’’.
    Approved December 20, 2005.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,916

    Default Re: Charged With Criminal Trespass on Indian Land After Invitation

    and think this is a crime against humanity to be arrested for your bloodline.
    why? If somebody is of a race I do not care for comes on my property, you think I do not have a right to enforce the laws against that person because of my feelings, even if I would have not sought charges on a person of my own ethnicity? It happens all the time. It's called; racism. Not that it should happen, but none the less, it does. That in itself does not mean there is no validity to the charges.

    Of course, that in itself does not mean you committed a crime but it surely can be the reason why they enforced the law against you.


    The police officer first advised it was ok to attend the parade since I was visiting my kids. Then they come back and arrest me. Do these facts add up as a defense?
    maybe, maybe not but do you really think the police that first spoke with you are going to now deny what they said in the police report that resulted in your arrest?


    The tribal police said it was ok. Approximately, 40 minutes later they came back, blocked us in the driveway and arrested me for trespassing.
    or about the time it would take to contact their superiors, discuss the situation, and round up some additional police prior to coming back to arrest you.


    all you can do is put up the best defense you can, or negotiate a resolution that would cause the charges to be dropped.

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