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Committee on Natural ResourcesCommittee on the JudiciaryIntroducedFebruary 15th, 2013
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Violence Against Indian Women Act of 2013
To authorize Indian tribes to exercise jurisdiction over crimes of domestic violence that occur in the Indian country of that tribe.
Violence Against Indian Women Act of 2013 - Amends the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 to give Indian tribes criminal jurisdiction over domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protective orders that occur on their lands. Makes that jurisdiction concurrent with federal and state jurisdiction. Prohibits a tribe from exercising such jurisdiction if neither the defendant or alleged victim is an Indian, or the defendant lacks certain ties to the tribe. Requires Indian tribes prosecuting those crimes to: (1) provide defendants the right to a trial by an impartial jury; and (2) notify detainees of their rights, including the right to file a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to assist Indian tribes in exercising such jurisdiction, providing indigent defendants with free legal counsel, and securing the rights of victims of such crimes. Authorizes appropriations for such grant program and to provide participating Indian tribes with training, technical assistance, data collection, and an evaluation of their criminal justice systems. Authorizes defendants charged with domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protective orders to petition the appropriate federal district court for the removal of their case from tribal court. Prohibits a case from being removed from tribal court unless a defendant proves by clear and convincing evidence that a constitutional right guaranteed under the Act has been violated, the tribal court has not adequately remedied the violation, and the violation is prejudicial to the defendant. Authorizes and encourages U.S. Attorneys serving districts that include Indian country to appoint qualified tribal prosecutors as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys to assist them in processing removal petitions and prosecuting crimes of domestic violence and dating violence in Indian country.