Tribal Court Clearinghouse          

Tribal Court Decisions

Welcome to the Tribal Law & Policy Institute's Tribal Court Opinion search page. Thanks to our cooperative agreement with VersusLaw©, we now have a searchable database of over 2794 2866 fully annotated Tribal Court opinions, memorandums and orders from Twenty-Two Tribal Courts.

To search for Tribal Court or Appellate decisions, enter your search terms in the following text box and use the drop down list to select your search criteria (i.e.: Search ANY Word, Search ALL Words, and Search EXACT Phrase).

You may also use our predefined search box to search Tribal Court opinions for specific, pre-selected words and phrases.

Join Versus Law's Tribal Court Database

Is your court interested in joining the VersusLaw Tribal Court Database? VersusLaw offers the most comprehensive database of Tribal Courts, State, and Federal Appellate court decisions available online. Receive free access to VersusLaw Case Law Research in exchange for sending VersusLaw your court's decisions. Please take a moment to read the Top Ten reasons for participation listed below.

  1. Access. Increased access to tribal court opinions allows cases to be argued before the courts based on the case’s merits.
  2. Research precedents. A national database enables your court to research precedents already decided by other tribal courts. Participation with VersusLaw’s Tribal Court Database in turn gives your court unrestricted access to VersusLaw’s U.S. Federal and State appellate court databases.
  3. First of its kind. Currently, there are only a limited number of individual Tribal Court websites, and just a few regional tribal court sites. Our tribal court database is the first-ever, electronic compilation of tribal court opinions on a national level.
  4. Extensive experience. While the Tribal Court Database might be relatively new (March 30, 2000), VersusLaw already has several years of experience with database management.
  5. Individual considerations. VersusLaw will accommodate your tribal court’s needs. VersusLaw is willing to consider any of your court’s concerns when drafting our VersusLaw Publishing Agreement .
  6. Privacy. Concerned about protecting the privacy of parties involved in a particular case? VersusLaw will accept opinions with deletion of party names.
  7. Non-exclusive. The Cooperative Publishing Agreement is a non-exclusive agreement. VersusLaw asserts no claims to the copyright of your opinions.
  8. Limited number of archived opinions? No problem. VersusLaw wants to include tribal courts of all sizes, regardless of the number of opinions you have on record.
  9. New and developing courts. The Tribal Court Database has been an invaluable resource for new and developing courts. It affords courts the opportunity to research other opinions - this also gives new courts the ability to integrate their participation with the Tribal Court Database from the start.
  10. NAICJA. VersusLaw is developing the Tribal Court Database in cooperation with the National American Indian Court Judges Association. VersusLaw also shares opinions with the Tribal Court Clearinghouse and the National Tribal Justice Resource Center.

First read the VersusLaw Publishing Agreement . If you agree with all of the terms and conditions, print a copy and complete the contract. Please send two (2) signed copies to:

VersusLaw, Inc.
Attn: A.D. Acton
8383 185th Ave N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052

If you have any questions, contact VersusLaw Customer Service via email ( or call toll free (888) 377-8752.

The National Tribal Justice Resource Center also has an Online, Searchable Database of 1,717 Tribal court opinions.

NAVAJO COURTS AND NAVAJO COMMON LAW: A Tradition of Tribal Self-Governance, by Raymond D. Austin (Navajo) - The Navajo Nation court system is the largest tribal legal system in the world. In his new book, Justice Raymond D. Austin considers the history and implications of how the Navajo Nation courts apply foundational Navajo doctrines to modern legal issues. In addition to detailed case studies, Justice Austin provides a broad view of tribal law, outlining how other indigenous peoples can draw on traditional precepts to control their own futures. Raymond D. Austin is the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program's Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. A member of the Arizona and Utah state bars and the Navajo Nation Bar Association, he served on the Navajo Nation Supreme Court from 1985 to 2001. Justice Austin is Diné from the Navajo Nation.

The largest collection of printed tribal court opinions is included in the Indian Law Reporter. The Indian Law Reporter is published monthly by the American Indian Lawyer Training Program. The Indian Law Reporter seeks to provide a comprehensive and convenient source of information regarding developments in Indian law. For information concerning the Indian Law Reporter, contact:

American Indian Lawyer Training Program
1025 W. Vine Street ¨ Stockton, CA 95203
Further information, please phone or fax: 209.460.0924 (phone) ¨ 209.460.0934 (fax)

There are a series of bound Navajo Nation legal resources available from T & B Publishing. These resources include the Navajo Nation Practice Book (Third Edition), Navajo Appellate Reports, Navajo Trial Reports, Navajo Law Digest, and Navajo Administrative Decisions. For more information, contact:

T & B Publishing
P.O. Box 1707
Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ) 86515
(505) 264-7055

Opinions Published by Native Nations


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