American Indian Law

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Arizona Indian Law Consultant Brian UtseyArizona Indian Law
Consultant Brian Utsey

When dealing with Indian Law, it's important to know that American Indian Tribes are separate legal entities under federal law and that each tribe has its own set of laws and court system.  Members of an Indian tribe have a special status under federal law and the lands that make up Indian reservations are under the jurisdiction of the tribal courts.

Each of Arizona's 21 tribes has different Tribal LawsEach of Arizona's 21 tribes
has their own Tribal Law

There are 21 federally recognized Indian tribes in Arizona.  Each has its own set of Tribal Laws.

In some cases, Tribal Law was based on the statutes that most state law is based on.  But in other cases, Tribal Law is based on the traditions of the particular tribe.

Each-of-Arizonas-21-tribal-court-systems-is-differentEach of Arizona's 21 tribal court systems is different

Arizona’s 21 Indian Reservations each have their own Tribal Court System. The larger tribes have very structured and formal systems, while the smallest tribes may only have an informal and even part time Tribal Court System.

Tribal Sovereignty is an important American Indian Law conceptTribal Sovereignty is a primary American Indian Law Concept

American Indian tribes have Tribal Sovereignty, which simply means they have sovereign immunity to lawsuits similar to other government entities.  In some ways, tribal sovereignty goes beyond the sovereign immunity extended to other government units, like the states.

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