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Tribal courts seek greater access to state and federal systems

April 7, 2015

The National American Indian Court Judges Association is calling for "immediate" access to state and federal criminal registration systems, a promise that remains unfulfilled nearly five years after the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Section 233 of the law calls on the Department of Justice to open federal criminal information databases to tribes. In November 2014, the FBI announced that tribes can access the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. However, the change in policy "does not address the ability of a tribe to submit information to the NICS," the FBI said in the Federal Register at the time. That appears to run counter to the language in Section 233, which states that tribes shall be allowed to "access and enter information" into the systems.

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