This website provides guidance on tribally issued protection orders and enforcement of protection orders. Note that each tribe is unique with respect to tribal constitutions and codes. The reader should consult the specific tribal constitution and tribal codes for additional requirements regarding tribal protection orders and enforcement of protection orders.
Protection orders can be an important legal tool for victims of domestic violence. Protection orders may provide relief for the victim such as temporary custody, financial support, housing, child support, batterer’s intervention. Protection orders can also trigger alcohol or substance abuse counseling for the batterer. Protection orders may be known by a variety of names: injunctions, restraining orders, civil restraining order, or victim protection order just to name a few. A Protection order is a legal order issued by a court to protect a certain person from abuse. Protection orders can be issued in civil and/or criminal actions. Enforcement of violations of a protection order may also be civil and/or criminal in nature.
There are generally two types of protection orders available to victims of abuse.
- Ex parte orders: These are available in most jurisdictions in emergency situations. What constitutes an emergency situation is often defined by statute. Ex parte orders are issued without notice to the Defendant and before a full hearing on the matter. The alleged victim usually needs to demonstrate than an immediate danger or emergency exists. If an Ex Parte order is granted, it usually “expires” within a short period of time that should allow enough time for the alleged victim to petition for a permanent protection order.
- Permanent protection orders: These can be issued after the alleged perpetrator (batterer) has been provided with notice of the request for a protection order and an opportunity to be heard by the court in a hearing. Permanent protection orders are not exactly permanent but can last up to several years depending on the situation and the Court that issues the order.
The language in a protection order is very important. The language in the protection order may engage section VAWA 2013 requiring that the protection order be given full faith and credit in all jurisdictions as the victim travels between jurisdictions. The language of the protection order is crucial for enforcement purposes. Clear and precise language is necessary since a violation of the protection order issued in favor of an Indian victim may be the basis for the criminal prosecution of Indian batterer or non-Indian batterer pursuant to section 904 of VAWA 2013. Additionally, the language in the Protection Order may trigger the federal firearms statutory prohibition against possessing ammunition or firearms during the period of a valid protection order.
The following examples are tribal protection orders and related documents from Native nations currently exercising VAWA jurisdiction under VAWA’s Pilot Program; there isn’t a drastic divergence from other tribal protection orders or even state protection orders. However, these protection orders are precisely drafted in order to comply with VAWA and allow for civil and/or criminal enforcement against Indian and non-Indian perpetrators. They are organized along a timeline, the only variable is the Ex Parte form, which can be filed before or after a permanent protection order case begins.
Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
The Umatilla have a very user friendly list of resources and documents relating to Protection Orders.
Forms You Need is a helpful flyer that sets out the process and forms that people, alleged victims and alleged perpetrators alike, will need during the protection order process in the Umatilla jurisdiction. Not every jurisdiction will have this type of explanation readily available. However, the Court, victims service providers, legal services and/or social workers in your jurisdiction will likely have a similar help guide if you have more questions after viewing this site. Even if you understand the process, it is important to note that deadlines and content required in these forms can vary drastically depending on the jurisdiction. So, it’s important to look for rules that are particular to your jurisdiction.
Temporary Domestic Abuse Order is an Ex Parte protection order that can be filed by a victim. If granted, this order lasts for up to 30 days. Umatilla also requires this particular order to be filed, regardless of the victims wishes, by a government official whenever a person is taken into custody for a domestic violence crime. Tulalip’s version is substantially similar. However, their Temporary Protection Order form explicitly requires the court to make a ruling regarding internet abuse, surveillance, social media, etc. Also, Tulalip’s version of this form explicitly warns the defendant of the specific civil and criminal consequences of violating the order, including the important fact that a victim cannot give the defendant legal permission to violate the order.
Petition for Domestic Abuse Order should be filed by a victim that is seeking a permanent protection order. Essentially, this form alerts the court that a victim is seeking a protection order for more than 30 days (or less depending on how long the Ex Parte, or temporary, protection order lasts in your jurisdiction). Once this form is received, the court will set a hearing and notify the alleged perpetrator.
Notice of Domestic Abuse Protection Order Hearing is a notice to the alleged perpetrator of the allegations against them and contains the hearing date and instruction on how to file a response. To protect the alleged victim, Umatilla requires the police to serve this notice. Some jurisdictions allow for a service by mail or 3rd party.
Police Proof of Service – In Person gets filed by the police, who are responsible for serving the alleged perpetrator with notice of the hearing. Tulalip, who also allows service via law enforcement, uses this Return of Service Protection Order form that notifies the Court (and victim) that notice was not given because the opposing party (alleged perpetrator) could not be found.
Answer to Domestic Abuse Protection Order will be filed by the alleged perpetrator, or their representative. It’s a response to the allegations in the original petition and an opportunity to get any of the alleged perpetrators complaints against the alleged victim to the court before the hearing. This also alerts the court as to which terms in the initial petition the alleged perpetrator is willing to comply with (for example, whether they agree to leave the home or reservation until the hearing) which can be useful evidence for gaining an Ex Parte protection order if the alleged victim was not able to prove an “emergency situation” before filing a petition for a permanent protection order.
Domestic Abuse Order After Hearing is issued by the Court at the conclusion of the hearing, before the parties leave the building. This form is the actual permanent protection order and lays out every enforceable protection for the victim, it also contains an expiration date. It sets out the terms of the protection order: who it protects, prohibited conduct for the defendant, terms for child custody, child visitation protocols, etc. See Order of Protection for Tulalip’s version.
LEDS Information For Protection Orders is particular to the Umatilla, it is the protocol that the Court (or Umatilla official) must follow once the protection order has been issued. The protocol results in the protection order being filed with Umatilla and state law enforcement so the victim will be protected by the order even off-reservation. This is an important feature of the Umatilla protection orders because it avoids the common problem of a victim being unable to stop a perpetrator because the non-tribal law enforcement aren’t aware of the order, are suspicious of its authenticity, or simply are under orders to only enforce state certified protection orders. Tulalip uses a similar Law Enforcement Information Sheet form that is for specifically for local law enforcement, so they have notice of the protection order and can better enforce it.
Miscellaneous Related Forms
Child Custody Information Sheet is used by the Tulalip Tribes whenever there are dependent children of a party to a protection order. This allows the Court to have more information up front regarding the family and is useful for making sure any protection order issued will be thorough and be tailored to the family’s needs; which helps victims avoid further trauma or contact with the perpetrator that may result from more court visits to adjust a protection order that might violate parental rights.
Snohomish County Superior Court Foreign Cover Sheet is used by the local authorities and can be used to log the “foreign” (in this case Tulalip) protection orders into the state system.
This website is a project of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. Other web resources developed by TLPI include:
Tribal Court Clearinghouse | Walking On Common Ground | Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts | Tribal Sex Trafficking Resources | Tribal Protection Order Resources | Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Tribes | Tribal Child Welfare Resources | Tribal Legal Studies | Tribal Law Updates | Indian Nations Conferences