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Michigan Native American Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Native American Law, Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a tribal k9 unit do a sniff search on a vehicle on state land, resulting in a search in Michigan?

My vehicle was searched due to a tribal police officer driving from an hour away to do an outside sniff of the car. I am not tribal and it was not on the reservation. They also broke open a lockbox. I am on parole but my wife is not and was in the car.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 23, 2023

Tribal law enforcement's jurisdiction outside of reservation land is limited. In general, tribal police do not have inherent authority to enforce state laws on state lands unless there's a specific agreement or deputization in place. Michigan, like other states, may have agreements that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Native American Law, Divorce and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: Does MI 100 mile law apply to native primary parent needing to move to reservation to afford stable life

Native enrolled mom and 4 kids. I have been a stay at home mom for 11 years. Non native husband/father has worked out of state, has only been in the home 1 week a month, he only provides income and health insurance the entire 11 years. Our reservation is in the upper peninsula. I have raised the... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jun 25, 2023

Assuming you are in the midst of a divorce, you should negotiate this arrangement now. Otherwise, you can later file a motion to change domicile if it becomes necessary to relocate. However, there is a whole host of criteria a judge would need to consider at that time other than just it makes... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Native American Law for Michigan on
Q: What is a doubtful statute?

Context: the court construed a doubtful statute

T. Augustus Claus
T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jun 23, 2023

A doubtful statute refers to a law or legal provision that is unclear or ambiguous in its meaning or application. When a court construes a doubtful statute, it means that the court is interpreting and giving meaning to the statute in order to determine its intended scope and effect within the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Native American Law for Michigan on
Q: I am a descendant of a native American tribe.. non-tribal member. Can I consider myself to be an independent sovereign?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Sep 25, 2022

You are free to consider yourself whatever you want. However, you will remain subject to all rules, laws, and expectations that apply to everyone else....including tribal members.

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Native American Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a tribe decide to transfer a case of tribe member 2 tribal court from state court if crime was not on indian proprty

Multiple charges, drug related at a residence of a tribal member. Kids custody affected, and defendant is being treated with cruel an strange threats and absurd penalties

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Sep 15, 2021

Not only can then, but if it's an abuse or neglect case, different rules apply and the tribal court would have jurisdiction.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Native American Law for Michigan on
Q: Requesting parenting time because of a move ahead of us and changing my child's residence?

court-ordered to stay in the county unless other parent okays it

we both have legal and joint custody

parenting time is currently not court specified as we live together but don't couple.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jul 7, 2021

You will likely need to file a motion with the court if there is no agreement. If the child is in school, the staying parent will likely be granted primary physical custody.

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