This notice solicits public comments on the Request for United States Assumption of Concurrent Federal Criminal Jurisdiction recently submitted to the Office of Tribal Justice, Department of Justice by the White Earth Nation pursuant to the provisions of 28 CFR 50.25.
Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before June 7, 2012. Comments received by mail will be considered timely if they are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) will accept comments until Midnight Eastern Time at the end of that day.
You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: submit written comments via regular or express mail to Mr. Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2310, Washington, DC 20530.
Fax: submit comments to the attention of Mr. Tracy Toulou, Office of Tribal Justice, Department of Justice, (202) 514-9078 (not a toll-free number).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Please contact Mr. Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, Department of Justice, at (202) 514-8812 (not a toll-free number). To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference “Docket No. OTJ 102” on all electronic and written correspondence. The Department encourages all comments be submitted electronically through http://www.regulations.gov using the electronic comment form provided on that site. An electronic copy of the request for United States assumption of concurrent federal criminal jurisdiction submitted by the White Earth Nation is also available at the http://www.regulations.gov Web site for easy reference. Paper comments that duplicate the electronic submission are not necessary as all comments submitted to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted for public review and are part of the official docket record.
Posting of Public Comments. Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.
You are not required to submit personal identifying information in order to comment on this rule. Nevertheless, if you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name and address) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You also must locate all the personal identifying information you do not want posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.
If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You also must prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.
Personal identifying information and confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will be placed in the agency's public docket file, but not posted online. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, please see the paragraph above entitled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
For more than two centuries, the Federal Government has recognized Indian tribes as domestic sovereigns that have unique government-to-government relationships with the United States. Congress has broad authority to legislate with respect to Indian tribes, however, and has exercised this authority to establish a complex jurisdictional scheme for the prosecution of crimes committed in Indian country. (The term “Indian country” is defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151.) Criminal jurisdiction in Indian country typically depends on several factors, including the nature of the crime; whether the alleged offender, the victim, or both are Indian; and whether a treaty, Federal statute, executive order, or judicial decision has conferred jurisdiction on a particular government.
The Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) was enacted on July 29, 2010, as Title II of Public Law 111-211. The purpose of the TLOA is to help the Federal Government and tribal governments better address the unique public-safety challenges that confront tribal communities. Section 221(b) of the new law, now codified at 18 U.S.C. 1162(d), permits an Indian tribe with Indian country subject to State criminal jurisdiction under Public Law 280, Public Law 83-280, 67 Stat. 588 (1953) to request that the United States accept concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute violations of the General Crimes Act and the Major Crimes Act within that tribe's Indian country.
Department of Justice Regulation Implementing 18 U.S.C. 1162(d)
On December 6, 2011, 76 FR 76037 the Department published final regulations that established the framework and procedures for a mandatory Public Law 280 tribe to request the assumption of concurrent Federal criminal jurisdiction within the Indian country of the tribe that is subject to Public Law 280. 28 CFR 50.25. Among other provisions, the regulations provide that upon receipt of a tribal request the Office of Tribal Justice shall publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments from the general public.
Request by the White Earth Nation
By a request dated February 8, 2012, the White Earth Nation located in the State of Minnesota requested the United States to assume concurrent Federal jurisdiction to prosecute violations of 18 U.S.C. 1152 (the General Crimes, or Indian Country Crimes, Act) and 18 U.S.C. 1153 (the Major Crimes Act) within the Indian country of the tribe. This would allow the United States to assume concurrent criminal jurisdiction over offenses within the Indian country of the tribe without eliminating or affecting the State's existing criminal jurisdiction.
Solicitation of Comments
This notice solicits public comments on the above request.
Dated: April 17, 2012.
Director, Office of Tribal Justice.
[FR Doc. 2012-9729 Filed 4-20-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-07-P