With 20,000 Native Americans, San Diego has four tribal groups holding nearly 200 square miles of land. An alternative to state courts; tribal and inter-tribal courts exist on the Native American lands and they have advantages over state courts.
Know Your Rights Before Going to Court
The tribal courts are efficient. California state courts can take months between filing of papers and a hearing; while tribal courts can have non-emergency hearings in a matter of weeks.
The tribal courts are not as restrictive as to testimony and evidence, which, while there are dangers, allows the Judge to have a more substantial inquiry into the facts of the case. There is more collaborative input in tribal court and more time is often devoted to working out every detail of the Court’s orders and communicating the details and purposes of the order to the parties.
Tribal courts are not bound to follow California law, yet the tribes do often consider state and federal legal principles or procedures in effecting tribal law.