Home

Back to Table of Contents

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Judicial Codes

Approved: 1998; Last amended: 2004

TITLE 3A - PROTECTION FROM VIOLENCE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CODE

Resolution 2000-29 (Adopted August 15, 2000; Effective August 15, 2000).


Chapter 3A. 01 General Provisions


3A.01.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Code is to insure the safety and protection of all persons from violence or threats of violence and from harassment, to insure the right of the public to a safe and secure community, to protect the community from the effects of violent acts, and to insure that whenever an offense of violence occurs, including domestic violence, the offender incurs an obligation to the community. Although this Code provides for specific remedies to prevent acts of Domestic Violence, this code shall not be limited to protect only victims of Domestic Violence, but shall also be interpreted to give effect to the protection of all victims of violence and abuse. Domestic Violence comes in many forms, including, but not limited to, physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse, of a child, spouse, sibling, parent or of an elder. This Code shall be interpreted and followed to give effect to these purposes.


3A.01.020 Jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction to make arrests or detain offenders for violations of this Code shall apply to all persons within the boundaries and lands of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. The Coushatta Tribal Court shall retain jurisdiction over members of federally-recognized Indian tribes for violations of Orders of Protection entered pursuant to this Code which are alleged to have occurred outside of the boundaries and lands of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, where such orders are entitled to recognition outside reservation boundaries either as a matter of comity or full faith and credit.


3A.01.030 Severability.

If any provision of this Code or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this Code, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected, and to this end the provisions of this Code are declared to be severable.


3A.01.040 Definitions--purpose.

The purpose of this section is to provide definitions which will insure that this code has the broadest possible scope, with regard to the people, relationships, and actions involved, and to provide definitions of legal terms in order to promote understanding and use of this code.

(a) "Advocate" means an employee of or volunteer for a program for victims of domestic violence who:

(1) Has a primary function of rendering advice, counseling or assistance to victims of domestic violence, supervising the employees or volunteers of the program, or administering the program.

(2) Has undergone initial training related to domestic violence issues.

Works under the direction of a supervisor of the program, supervises employees or volunteers, or administers the program.

(b) "bodily injury" means any act, except one done in self-defense, that results in physical injury or sexual abuse.

(c) "Crime involving domestic violence" means one or more of the following crimes when committed by a family or household member against another family or household member:

(1) Offenses listed under 18 U.S.C. 1153, the Major Crimes Act as now or hereafter amended: murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, felony sexual abuse under chapter 1 09A, incest, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, arson, burglary, robbery, and felony theft under section 661 of Title 18.

(2) Offenses listed under the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Judicial Code, Title 3, as now or hereafter amended: assault, assault and battery, abductions, subjection to maltreatment, malicious mischief, trespass, and disobedience to lawful orders of court, when the order was entered for the purpose of protecting a victim of alleged domestic violence.

(d) "Domestic Violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts by a family or household member, but does not include acts of self-defense:

(1) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm to another family or household member.

(2) Attempting to commit or committing a crime involving domestic violence against another family or household member.

(3) Placing a family or household member in reasonable fear of physical harm to him or herself or another family or household member. This fear may be produced by behavior which induces fear in the victim, including, but not limited to, harassment, stalking, destruction of property, or physical harm or threat of harm to household pets.

(4) Causing a family or household member to engage involuntarily in sexual activity by force, threat of force or duress.

(e) "Ex parte" when used in connection with proceedings or orders of the court under this code, means that only the requesting party is heard by the court, and that notice and an opportunity to contest the facts are not available to the party adversely affected.

(f) "Family or household members" include:

(1) Persons who are current or former spouses.

(2) Persons who live together or who have lived together at any time.

(3) Persons who are dating or who have dated.

(4) Persons who are engaged in or who have engaged in a sexual relationship.

(5) Persons who are related by blood or adoption.

(6) Persons who are related, or who are formerly related, by marriage.

(7) Persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or lived together.

(8) Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.

(9) Minor children, either legal or biological, of a person in a relationship that is described in 1 through 7 above.

(g) ?Protection Order? includes any injunction or other order issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to, another person, including temporary and final orders issued by civil and criminal courts (other than support or child custody orders) whether obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendente lite order in another proceeding so long as any civil order was issued in response to a complaint, petition or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection.

(h) ?Probable Cause? is a legal standard used by law enforcement officers, officers of the court, attorneys and advocates to provide guidance on when there are enough facts and circumstances present, in a given situation, to justify arrest of a suspect by a law enforcement officer.


Chapter 2. Law Enforcement Response and Duties


3A.02.010 Duties of law enforcement officer to victims.

(a) A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of violence or a crime involving violence shall use all reasonable means to protect the victim and prevent further violence, including, but not limited to:

(1) Taking necessary actions to provide for the safety of the victim and any family or household member, including arrest of an alleged perpetrator or primary physical aggressor, and moving a victim at his or her request.

(2) Confiscating any weapon involved in an allegation of violence or domestic violence.

(3) Transporting or obtaining transportation for the victim and any child to a shelter, at the victim's request.

(4) Assisting the victim in obtaining personal effects.

(5) Assisting the victim and any child in obtaining medical treatment, including obtaining transportation to a medical facility.

(6) Giving the victim immediate and adequate notice of the rights of victims and of the remedies and services available to victims violence and domestic violence.

(b) As part of the notice required in (a) 6 above, the law enforcement officer shall give a written notice to the adult victim which substantially informs him or her that:

If you believe that law enforcement protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to request that the officer assist in providing for your safety. The officer can assist you to:

(1) Ask for an Emergency Order of Protection.

(2) Gather up personal effects.

(3) Locate a safe place and take you there. The officer may take you to a shelter, the residence of a friend or family member, any other place of safety, or a meeting place where someone else can transport you to a safe place.

(4) Receive medical treatment.

(5) Receive a copy of the officer's report, from the Police Department at no cost.

(6) Contact the office for Victims of Crime Assistance or other advocate services for immediate assistance.

(c) You may request the Prosecutor file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a petition in Coushatta Tribal Court requesting an Order of Protection from further acts of violence, or domestic or family violence. An Order of Protection may include specific orders of the court, to your abuser or for your welfare, including any of the following:

(1) Order to not commit or threaten to commit further acts of domestic violence.

(2) Order to not contact you, harass, annoy, telephone or otherwise communicate with you, either directly or indirectly.

(3) Order removing your abuser from your residence, regardless of who owns the residence.

(4) Order to stay away from your residence, school, place of employment, or any other specific place you or another family or household member frequently go.

(5) Order prohibiting the possession or use of any firearm or other weapon specified by the court, and requiring that such weapon be turned in to law enforcement.

(6) Temporary order granting you possession and use of the automobile and other essential personal items and property, regardless of ownership.

(7) Temporary order granting you custody of your child or children.

(8) Temporary order denying your abuser visitation with your child or children.

(9) Order making specific requirements for visitation, including supervised visitation.

(10) Order requiring your abuser to pay certain costs and fees, such as rent or mortgage payments, child support payments, medical expenses or to maintain existing medical insurance coverage, expenses for shelter, court costs and attorney's fees.

(d) The forms you need to obtain an Order of Protection are available from the clerk at the Tribal Court, which are available to members of the community who are victims of domestic violence. No fees are required for an Order of Protection.

(e) You also have the right to request payment for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings or financial support, and other expenses for injuries sustained and damage to your property. This request can be made, without an attorney, by filing a complaint in the Tribal Court.


3A.02.020 Duty of law enforcement officer to insure evidence preserved--purpose.

(a) The purpose of this section is to assist in the prosecution of perpetrators of alleged domestic violence or crimes involving domestic violence, recognizing that victims are often reluctant to press charges or testify at subsequent hearings for many reasons, including but not limited to economic factors, and emotional and psychological factors related to patterns of victimization.

(b) A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence shall take reasonable steps td collect sufficient evidence to enable the prosecutor to secure a conviction of the perpetrator without the testimony of any victim. Reasonable steps include, when appropriate, photographs of injuries to any victim, of damage to property and of the location and surroundings of the alleged incident.

(c) A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence shall encourage any victim to make a statement concerning the incident, to sign it, and shall take one from any perpetrator, if possible.

A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence shall insure that the victim is made aware of the importance of preserving evidence of the incident.

Confidentiality of Evidence. The law enforcement officer and the responding law enforcement agency or agencies, shall not allow any evidence collected, including photographs of the victim, to be distributed or viewed by anyone not directly associated with the investigation or prosecution of the case.


3A.02.030 Mandatory arrest for domestic violence or crimes involving domestic violence--purpose--determination of primary physical aggressor--required report.

(a) The purpose of mandating arrest of perpetrators in all instances where an officer determines that there is probable cause to conclude that domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence has occurred is to provide victims with immediate protection from the current violence, afford them an opportunity to consider legal options, to provide victims with time to safely relocate or obtain an order of protection, and to insure an adequate and prompt law enforcement response to domestic violence.

(b) A law enforcement officer shall, without a warrant, arrest a person and charge him or her with the appropriate crime if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence within the previous four (4) hours. The officer's duty to make an arrest upon probable cause is not lessened even though it may be against the expressed wishes of the victim.

(c) If a law enforcement officer receives a complaint alleging domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence from two or more opposing persons, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine who was more likely to have been the primary physical aggressor. In determining whether a person was the primary physical aggressor, the officer shall consider:

(1) Prior complaints of domestic violence.

(2) The relative severity of the injuries inflicted on each person.

(3) The likelihood of future injury to each person.

(4) Whether one of the persons acted in self-defense.

(d) If a law enforcement officer determines that one person was the primary physical aggressor, the officer need not arrest the other person, even if the officer has probable cause to believe that the other person has committed domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence against the primary physical aggressor.

(e) A law enforcement officer shall not threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate the possible arrest of all parties to discourage requests for intervention by law enforcement by any party.

(f) In addition to any other report required, a law enforcement officer who does not make an arrest, or who arrests two or more persons, after investigating a complaint of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, must submit a detailed written report stating why the officer either did not make an arrest, or arrested two or more parties.

(g) The law enforcement officer shall forward the offense report to the prosecutor within five (5) days of the incident if there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed, unless the case is under active investigation.


3A.02.040 Law enforcement officer duties to request and upon receiving telephonic emergency order of protection.

(a) When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence has occurred, and the victim requests immediate protection, and a judge is not available to hear a request for an emergency order of protection in person, the officer may contact the judge by telephone to hear the request, and the officer shall state the grounds for making the request.

(b) A law enforcement officer who receives authorization from the court, by telephone, to carry out an emergency order of protection shall:

(1) Write and sign the order as directed by the court.

(2) Immediately provide the petitioner with a copy of the order, and assist the petitioner in securing any items of property he or she is entitled to under the terms of the order.

(3) Serve a copy on the respondent.

(4) Provide the order to the court by the end of the next judicial day.


3A.02.05 Law enforcement officer duty to expedite service for orders of protection.

The Coushatta Police Department shall insure that law enforcement officers provide expedited service for orders of protection.


3A.02.060 Authority of law enforcement officer to seize and hold weapons.

(a) Incident to an arrest for domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, a law enforcement officer shall seize all weapons that are alleged to have been involved, or were threatened to be used, in the commission of a crime.

(b) The officer may also seize a weapon that is in the plain view of the officer, or was discovered pursuant to a consensual search or a search incident to arrest as necessary for the protection of the officer or other persons.

(c) Law enforcement officers are authorized to confiscate weapons from a person who is prohibited from possessing or using them.

(d) Law enforcement officers are also authorized to accept and hold weapons for safekeeping for a person who is prohibited from possessing or using them.


3A.02.070 Mandatory arrest for certain violations of an order of protection.

When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a respondent has violated one of the following orders of the court, and the officer has verified the existence of the order, the officer shall, without a warrant, arrest the alleged violator. Arrest shall be mandatory where the violation is of one of the following:

(a) Order to not commit or threaten to commit further acts of domestic violence.

(b) Order to not contact the petitioner, harass, annoy, telephone or otherwise communicate with the petitioner, either directly or indirectly.

(c) Order removing the respondent from the petitioner's residence.

(d) Order to stay away from petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or any other specific place petitioner or another family or household member frequently go.

(e) Order prohibiting the possession or use of any firearm or other weapon specified by the court.


3A.02.080 Mandatory arrest for violation of conditions of release.

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a person has violated a condition of release, imposed by the court, from arrest or detention for allegedly committing domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, and the officer verifies that the alleged violator has notice of the conditions of release, the officer shall, without a warrant, arrest the alleged violator.


3A.02.09 Law enforcement records on domestic violence to be identifiable.

Written records of arrests by, and incident reports filed by law enforcement officers, which are kept by the Coushatta Tribal Police Department, shall be made identifiable by means of a departmental code for domestic violence.


3A.02.100 Liability of law enforcement officers.

A law enforcement officer shall not be held liable in any civil action for an arrest based on probable cause, enforcement in good faith of a court order, or any other action or omission in good faith under this Code arising from alleged domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence brought by any party.


Chapter 3A.03 Order of Protection - Civil Process


3A.03.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide victims of domestic violence with a process for obtaining orders of protection independent of contacting law enforcement officers to report a crime. Petitioners applying for orders of protection should be referred to law enforcement in the event that an unreported crime has been committed. The purpose of authorizing orders of protection to be issued without prior notice to the respondent is to insure the immediate protection of the petitioner and any family or household member, and to prevent further violence, and orders may be modified or extended, with or without either notice to the respondent or a hearing, consistent with this purpose.


3A.03.020 Filing a petition for an order of protection--who may file.

(a) Any person who alleges that he or she is or has been a victim of domestic violence may file a petition for an order of protection.

(b) A person may petition for relief on his or her own behalf and on behalf of any family or household members under the age of eighteen (18) years.

(c) Family or household members, including adults, may jointly file a single petition.

(d) Persons under the age of eighteen (18) years must have a parent, guardian or other family or household member file the petition unless the parent, guardian or other family or household member is the alleged abuser, in which case an adult relative, friend or other representative may file on behalf of the minor.


3A.03.030 Filing a petition for an order of protection or to modify an existing order--contents.

A petition for an order of protection from domestic violence, or to modify an existing order of protection shall include:

(a) The name and address where the petitioner would like to receive notices from the court.

(b) An allegation that domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence has taken place.

(c) The names and ages of all persons known to the petitioner to be in need of protection.

(d) The name, address and age of the alleged abuser, and his or her relationship to each victim.

(e) A signed statement, or separate affidavit filed with the petition, stating in the petitioner's own words, the specific facts and circumstances of the alleged domestic violence, including whether the petitioner believes him or herself to be in immediate danger of further domestic violence, and if applicable, what modifications to the existing order the petitioner is requesting, and why the changes are necessary.

(f) A statement listing each civil or criminal action or proceeding, past and present, involving both parties, the court of record for the action or proceeding, and any additional identifying information which may enable the court to access court dockets, charges, pleadings, outcomes and the issuance of any civil or criminal restraining orders.


3A.03.40 Emergency order of protection--when available--issuing--contents-expiration.

(a) The court shall insure that a judge or other authorized person designated by the court is available to hear petitions or requests for an emergency order of protection twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days per week.

(b) The court may issue a written or telephonic emergency order of protection, without notice to an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, when a law enforcement officer or the petitioner states to the court in person or by telephone, and the court finds reasonable cause to believe, that the petitioner is in immediate danger of domestic violence based on an allegation of a recent incident of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence committed by a family or household member.

(c) The court may issue, upon its own motion, a written or oral emergency order of protection, without notice to an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, when it appears to the court, upon review of a petition for an order of protection from domestic violence, that the court has reasonable cause to believe that the petitioner is in immediate danger of domestic violence, based on an allegation of a recent incident of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence committed by a family or household member.

(d) The court may grant the following relief in an emergency order of protection:

(1) Order the respondent to not commit or threaten to commit further acts of domestic violence.

(2) Order the respondent to not contact, harass, annoy, telephone or otherwise communicate with the petitioner, either directly or indirectly.

(3) Order removing the respondent from the petitioner's residence, regardless of ownership of the residence.

(4) Order the respondent to stay away from the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or any other specific place petitioner and any designated family or household member frequently go.

(5) Order granting the petitioner possession and use of an automobile and other essential personal items and property, regardless of ownership, and direct law enforcement to accompany the petitioner to the residence of the parties to insure that the petitioner is able to safely retrieve such items, or to supervise the respondent or petitioner in removing personal property.

(6) Order granting the petitioner temporary custody of a child or children.

(7) Order such other relief as the court deems necessary to protect and provide for the safety of the petitioner and any designated family or household member.

An emergency order of protection expires ten (10) days after issuance, unless criminal charges are filed against the respondent by the prosecutor, or unless a hearing is scheduled by the court with notice to the respondent.

Following entry of an ex parte emergency order of protection, the court shall:

(1) Set a date for a hearing to be held within three (3) days after entry of an emergency order of protection that grants relief set forth in 3A.03.040 (c) 3, 4, 5, or 6.

(2) Cause the order to be delivered to the Law and Order Department for enforcement purposes and for service upon the respondent.

(3) Transmit a copy of the order to any additional, appropriate law enforcement agencies or other agencies designated by the petitioner.

(4) Make reasonable efforts to insure that the order of protection is understood by the petitioner.


3A.03.050 Order of protection--issuing--contents--expiration.

(a) If it appears from a petition for an order of protection or a petition to modify an order of protection that domestic violence has occurred, or a modification of an order is required, the court may:

(1) Immediately issue or modify an order of protection ex parte, without notice or a hearing, as deemed necessary to protect the petitioner.

(2) Upon notice to the parties and after a hearing, issue or modify an order of protection whether or not the respondent appears.

(b) The court may, without notice and a hearing, issue or modify an order of protection ex parte and grant the relief as set forth in 3A.03.040 (d) 1-7 above, and also order that the respondent's possession or use of any firearm or other weapon specified by the court is prohibited, and that the respondent is required to turn such items in to law enforcement for safekeeping.

(c) A court may grant the following relief in an order of protection or modification of an order of protection, after notice and a hearing, whether or not the respondent appears:

(1) Grant the relief as set forth in 3A.03.040 (d) 1-7 above, and also order that the respondent's possession or use of any firearm or other weapon specified by the court is prohibited, and that the respondent is required to turn such items in to law enforcement for safekeeping.

(2) Specify arrangements for visitation of any minor child by the respondent, and require supervision of that visitation by a third party, or deny visitation if necessary to protect the safety of the petitioner or child.

(3) Order the respondent to make the following payments to the petitioner, the court or to another party:

(A) Rent or mortgage on the petitioner's current residence, regardless of ownership.

(B) Support of the petitioner and minor child, if under the circumstances, the respondent is found to have a duty to support the petitioner or minor child.

(C) Reimbursement for any expenses associated with the domestic violence, including but not limited to medical expenses, counseling, shelter, and repair or replacement of damaged property.

(D) Costs and fees incurred by the petitioner in bringing the action, including attorney's fees.

(d) If the court issues or modifies an order of protection under this section the court shall:

(1) Cause the order to be delivered to the Law and Order Department for expedited service to any of the parties who were not present. If the Law and Order Department cannot personally serve the respondent, the court shall complete service by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any address the petitioner believes may reasonably insure notice to the respondent, and by publication.

(2) Make reasonable efforts to insure that the order of protection, or modified order of protection is understood by the petitioner and the respondent, if present.

(3) Transmit a copy of the order of protection, or modified order of protection to any additional, appropriate law enforcement agencies or other agencies designated by the petitioner.

(e) An order of protection issued pursuant to this Section is effective for up to one (1) year, or until further order of the court, and may be renewed or rescinded by the court prior to expiration, upon the petitioner's request and upon notice to the parties and after a hearing, whether or not the respondent appears.


3A.03.060 Request to modify order by respondent.

(a) The purpose of this section is to allow the respondent with a means of requesting modification of an order of protection where such order either:

(1) Removes the respondent from a residence that he or she owns.

(2) Requires the respondent to stay away from the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or any other specific place petitioner or any designated family or household member frequently go.

(3) Grants the petitioner possession and use of an automobile and other personal items and property, regardless of ownership.

(4) Grants the petitioner temporary custody of a child or children.

(5) Provides or denies the respondent visitation with a minor child or children.

(6) Requires the respondent to make any payments to the petitioner, the court or to another party.

(b) Upon receiving the respondent's request, the court shall set a hearing as soon as practicable, but in no event later than fourteen (14) days after the next day on which court is in session following the filing of the petitioner's request. Notice shall be sent to the petitioner that the respondent is seeking a modification of the order of protection.

(c) The purpose of the hearing, requested by a respondent subject to an order of protection as set forth in (a), above, shall be for the court to consider whether any less restrictive alternatives may be appropriate under the circumstances. The court may modify an order pursuant to this section where the order works an unreasonable hardship upon the respondent, provided that the safety of the victim or any family or household member protected by the order remains the primary consideration.


Chapter 3A.04 Tribal Court Response and Duties


3A.04.010 conditions of pretrial release--written orders.

(a) When considering pretrial release of a person who is under arrest for, or being charged with, domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, the court shall review all available facts and reports concerning the arrest and detention of the person, and make a determination, on the record, if possible, on whether or not to release the person based on whether the person:

(1) Is a threat to the alleged victim or other family or household member.

(2) Is a threat to the safety of the community.

(3) Is reasonably likely to appear in court for a subsequent proceeding.

(b) Before authorizing release of a person under arrest for, or being charged with, domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, the court shall consider imposing conditions of release or bail on the person in order to protect the alleged victim, and to insure the appearance of the person arrested or charged at a subsequent court proceeding. Conditions of release or bail may include:

(1) An order to not commit or threaten to commit acts of domestic violence against the alleged victim or other family or household member.

(2) An order to not contact, harass, annoy, telephone or otherwise communicate with the alleged victim, either directly or indirectly.

(3) An order to vacate or stay away from the residence of the victim, even if it is a shared residence, or principally owned by the alleged perpetrator, and to stay away from any specific place the alleged victim or another family or household member frequently go.

(4) An order prohibiting the possession or use of any firearm or other weapon specified by the court, and to turn such weapon in to law enforcement for safekeeping.

(5) An order prohibiting the person from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances.

(6) Any other order the court believes is reasonably necessary to protect and insure the safety of the alleged victim or family or household member, or to insure the appearance of the person at a subsequent court proceeding.

(c) If conditions of release are imposed, the court shall:

(1) Issue a written order for a conditional release.

(2) Immediately distribute a copy of the order to the Coushatta Tribal Police Department, or any other entity having custody of the arrested or charged person.

(3) Waive any requirement that the alleged victim's location be disclosed to any person, other than the attorney of a criminal defendant, upon a showing that there is a possibility of further violence. The court may also order a criminal defense attorney not to disclose the victim's location to his or her client.

(d) The written order releasing the person arrested for or charged with domestic violence shall contain the conditions of release imposed by the court and shall contain a prominent annotation, in either boldfaced type or capital letters, which substantially informs the released person that:

Violation of this order is a criminal offense and will subject a violator to arrest. You can be arrested even if any person protected by the order invites or allows you to violate it. You have the sole responsibility to fully comply with all of the orders provisions. Only the court may change the order.

(e) The court shall direct the Coushatta Tribal Police Department, or any other entity having custody of the arrested or charged person, to provide a copy of the conditions of release to the arrested or charged person upon his or her release. Failure to provide the person with a copy of the conditions of release does not invalidate the conditions if the arrested or charged person has notice of the conditions.

(f) If conditions of release are imposed without a hearing, the court shall hold a prompt hearing to review the conditions, upon the request of the arrested or charged person.

(g) When a person who is arrested for or charged with domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence is released from custody, the court shall direct the Coushatta Tribal Police Department, or any other entity having custody of the arrested or charged person to:

(1) Use all reasonable means to immediately notify the victim of the alleged crime that the person is being released.

(2) Furnish the victim of the alleged crime a copy, at no cost, of any conditions of release.


3A.04.020 Duty of prosecutor to inform victim of rights--victim's rights in legal proceedings.

(a) Any person prosecuting domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence shall notify the victim of his or her rights as set forth below.

(b) A victim of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence is entitled to all rights granted to victims of crime including, but not limited to, the right to:

(1) Be informed of all hearing dates and continuances.

(2) A victim shall not be required to testify in person at any proceedings related to the incident, however, the victim may be present at sentencing and address the court, either in person or by a written statement.

(3) Provide the court with a statement either in person or in writing, on the impact that the incident or crime has had on the victim's health, welfare and the emotional impact of the incident or crime, a statement on the victim's opinion regarding the frequency of domestic violence or crimes involving domestic violence which involve the perpetrator, and the perceived risk of further harm.

(4) Advise the court on appropriate counseling and any other conditions of probation and parole that the victim believes should be required of the perpetrator in order to insure the safety and welfare of the victim and other family and household members.

(5) Request restitution for losses directly caused by any criminal conduct by the perpetrator.

(6) Be informed of how to apply for victims compensation, and to apply for such funds.

(7) Receive notice from the prosecutor when:

(A) an alleged perpetrator will not, for any reason, be prosecuted for alleged domestic violence, a crime involving domestic violence, or for violating an order of protection.

(B) when the disposition of the case involves an agreement reached during plea bargaining.


3A.04.030 Reasons for dismissal required in court file.

(a) When a prosecutor moves to dismiss charges against a defendant accused of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence, or when a court dismisses such charges, the specific reasons for the dismissal must be recorded in the court file.

(b) If the motion for dismissal, or dismissal, is based on the unavailability of the alleged victim or any witness, the prosecutor shall indicate the specific reason why such person(s) are unavailable, and why the case cannot be prosecuted.


3A.04.040 Dismissal of criminal case because of civil compromise prohibited.

The court shall not dismiss a criminal case involving domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence for the sole reason that a civil compromise or settlement is offered or reached.


3A.04.050 Tribal court records on domestic violence to be identifiable.

The court shall identify by any reasonable means, on docket sheets, those criminal actions arising from acts of domestic violence.


3A.04.060 Tribal court records on domestic violence--confidentiality.

The court shall take whatever steps are necessary to insure that a victim's address or location is kept confidential, and to prevent release of such information except at the victim's request, or with his or her consent.


Chapter 3A.05 Special Rules of Court and Law Applicable in Domestic Violence Cases


3A.05.010 Expedited service of process in cases involving domestic violence.

In any case where a perpetrator of alleged domestic violence or crime involving domestic violence cannot personally be served any type of notice required by this Code, and service of process must be effected by mail or publication, service shall be complete:

(a) Upon delivery of the mail, for any form of mail requiring a return receipt signed by the addressee, unless returned by postal authorities because of the addressee's refusal to accept, in which case service is complete fourteen (14) days after mailing notice to the same address by first class mail.

(b) Fourteen (14) days from the date of first publication, so long as the notice is published at least once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the Coushatta Tribal Reservation.


3A.05.020 Mediation in cases involving domestic violence.

(a) In any proceeding concerning the custody of; or visitation with a child, the court shall not order mediation or refer either party to mediation if an order of protection is in effect.

(b) In any proceeding concerning the custody of; or visitation with a child, if there is an allegation of domestic violence, and an order of protection is not in effect, the court may offer mediation only if:

(1) Mediation is requested by the victim of the alleged domestic violence.

(2) Mediation is provided by a certified mediator, who is trained in domestic violence in a specialized manner intended to protect the safety of victims.

(3) The victim is permitted to have a supporting person of his or her choice, including but not limited to an attorney or advocate, in attendance at the mediation.


3A.05.030 Spousal privileges not applicable in criminal proceedings involving domestic violence.

The following evidentiary privileges do not apply in any criminal proceeding in which a spouse or other family or household member is the victim of domestic violence or an alleged crime involving domestic violence perpetrated by the other spouse:

(a) The privilege of confidential communication between spouses.

(b) The privilege to not testify against a spouse.


3A.05.040 Advocate-victim privilege applicable in cases involving domestic violence--circumstances where privilege not available.

(a) A victim of domestic violence may refuse to disclose, and may prevent an advocate from disclosing, confidential oral communications between the victim and the advocate, and written records and reports concerning the victim when:

(1) The victim claims the advocate-victim privilege.

(2) The person who was the advocate at the time of the confidential communication claims the advocate-victim privilege.

The privilege extends to all oral and written communications between and by either the advocate or the victim, and encompasses all communications made in the course of the advocacy relationship, including those made in the presence of third parties also participating in the advocacy or other victim services.

(b) An advocate may not claim the privilege if the privilege has been waived by the victim, or if the victim is deceased.

(c) The advocate-victim privilege does not relieve a person from any mandatory duty to report child abuse imposed by federal or tribal law. A person may not claim the privilege when providing evidence in proceedings concerning child abuse.


3A.05.050 Child custody and visitation proceedings--presumptions.

(a) In every proceeding where custody or visitation of a child is in dispute, a determination by the court that domestic violence has occurred raises a rebuttable presumption that it is detrimental and not in the best interest of the child to be placed in sole custody, joint legal custody or joint physical custody with the perpetrator of domestic violence.

(b) In every proceeding where custody or visitation of a child is in dispute, a determination by the court that domestic violence has occurred raises a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interest of the child to reside with the parent who is not a perpetrator of domestic violence, in the location of that parent's choice.


3A.05.060 Child custody and visitation proceedings--factors in determining custody and visitation.

(a) In addition to other factors that a court must consider in a proceeding where custody or visitation 6f a child is in dispute, and the court has made a finding of domestic violence, the court shall also consider:

(1) That the safety and well-being of the child and of the parent who is the victim of domestic violence is the primary concern.

(2) The perpetrator's history of causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or causing reasonable fear of physical harm, bodily injury or assault to any other person.

(b) If a parent is absent or relocates because of an act of domestic violence by the other parent, the absence or relocation shall not be a factor that weighs against the parent in determining custody or visitation.


3A.05.070 Conditions of visitation in cases involving domestic violence.

(a) A court may award visitation by a parent who committed domestic violence only if the court finds that adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic violence can be made.

(b) In a visitation order, adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic violence may include but is not limited to an order that:

(1) Exchange of a child is to occur in a protected setting.

(2) Visitation is to be supervised by another person or agency.

(3) The perpetrator of domestic violence is to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, and as a condition of the visitation, a program of counseling for perpetrators of domestic violence, or some other designated counseling.

(4) The perpetrator of domestic violence is to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation and for twenty-four (24) hours preceding the visitation.

(5) The perpetrator of domestic violence is to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised visitation.

(6) Overnight visitation is prohibited.

(7) The perpetrator of domestic violence is to post bond for the return and safety of the child.

(8) The perpetrator of domestic violence is to comply with any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of domestic violence, or any other family or household member.

(c) Whether or not visitation is allowed, the court may order the address of the child and the victim to be kept confidential.

(d) The court may refer, but shall not order, an adult who is a victim of domestic violence to attend counseling related to the victim's status or behavior as a victim, either individually or with the perpetrator of domestic violence as a condition of receiving custody of a child, or as a condition of visitation.

(e) If a court allows a family or household member to supervise visitation, the court shall furnish clear guidelines to those persons related to their responsibility and authority during supervision, so they are better able to protect the child should the perpetrator engage in violent or intimidating conduct toward the child or adult victim in the course of visitation.


Chapter 3A.06 Health, Social and Advocate Services Response and Duties


3A.06.010 Notice of rights of victims and remedies and services available--required information to be provided by Coushatta TribaI HeaIth Center.

(a) The Coushatta Tribal Health Center shall make available to its staff, and to all its patients, a written notice of the rights of victims and of the remedies and services available to victims of domestic violence, as they are set forth in Section 3A.02.010 (b).

(b) Any health care practitioner, who becomes aware that a patient is a victim of domestic violence, shall provide the patient with the notice in Section 5A.02.010 (b).

(c) Written notice provided by the Coushatta Tribal Health Center, its staff or any health care practitioner, for general distribution to the public shall not include the addresses of shelters, unless the location is public knowledge.


3A.06.020 Coushatta Tribal Health Center required to provide certain information to parents--purpose.

(a) The purpose of this Section, as a first step in the process of providing essential safeguards and services for families, is to avert the trauma of domestic violence and child abuse in families, by informing parents, particularly of new or young families, about domestic violence, and the community and health care systems which are available for support and assistance.

(b) The Coushatta Tribal Health Center shall provide information concerning domestic violence to parents of both newborn infants and hospitalized minors. The information must include but is not limited to the effect of domestic violence on children, and available services for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence.


3A.06.030 Child abuse investigatory services response and duties.

(a) Any person or entity performing child abuse investigatory services within the jurisdiction of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana shall follow written procedures for screening each referral for abuse or neglect of a child to assess whether abuse or neglect of another family or household member is also occurring. The assessment shall include but is not limited to:

(1) Inquiry concerning incidents of violence in the criminal record of the parents, and the alleged abusive or neglectful person, and the alleged perpetrator of domestic violence, if such person is not a parent of the child.

(2) Inquiry concerning the existence of orders for protection issued to either parent.

(b) If it is determined in an investigation of abuse or neglect of a child that:

(1) The child or another family or household member has been or is a victim of domestic violence, or is threatened by acts of domestic violence, and it reasonably appears to the person conducting the investigation that the child or another family or household member is in danger of domestic violence and that removal of one of the parties is necessary to prevent the abuse or neglect of the child, the responsible person or entity, shall seek the removal of the alleged perpetrator.

(2) A parent of the child is a victim of domestic violence, services must be offered to the victimized parent and the provision of such services must not be contingent upon a finding that either parent is at fault or has failed to protect the child.


3A.06.040 Liability of Health, Social and Advocate Services Staff

Health, Social and Advocate Services staff shall not be held liable in any civil action for any action or omission in good faith under this Code arising from alleged domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence brought by any party.


Chapter 3A.07 Enforcement of Foreign Orders


3A.07.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to insure compliance with the Full Faith and Credit provision of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (V.A.W.A.) as set forth in Title 18 of the United States Code, section 2265 (18 U.S.C. 2265), as now or hereafter amended, and to insure the safety of victims of domestic violence and crimes involving domestic violence, who are located within the jurisdiction of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, by giving effect to Orders of Protection which fall within the scope of that Act.


3A.07.020 Full faith and credit for foreign orders of protection--definition--review by Tribal Court--exeptions.

(a) For purposes of this chapter, an order of protection means any injunction or other order issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to, another person, including temporary and final orders issued by civil and criminal courts (other than support or child custody orders), however obtained, so long as any civil order was issued in response to a complaint, petition or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection.

(b) Any order of protection, except as noted in (c) below, issued by a court of any Indian tribe or State of the United States, the District of Columbia, a commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, shall be accorded full faith and credit by the Tribal Court of the Lummi Nation, and shall be enforced as if it were an order of the Tribal Court, if both:

(1) The issuing court had jurisdiction over the parties and the matter at the time the order was issued.

(2) The issuing court gave reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard to the person the order is issued against, sufficient to protect that person's right to due process. In the case of ex parte orders, notice and opportunity to be heard were given within a reasonable time after the order is issued.

(c) A foreign order of protection entered against both a plaintiff and a respondent shall not be enforceable against the plaintiff unless both:

(1) The defendant filed a cross or counter petition, complaint or other written pleading seeking such a protection order.

(2) The issuing court made specific findings of domestic violence or a crime involving domestic violence against both the plaintiff and defendant and determined that each party was entitled to such an order.


3A.07.030 Filing foreign orders of protection--presumption of validity--procedures.

(a) A plaintiff who obtains a valid order of protection from another Indian tribe or State of the United States, the District of Columbia, a commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States may file that order by presenting a certified copy of the foreign order of protection to a clerk of the Coushatta Tribal Court.

(b) There shall be a presumption in favor of validity where a foreign order of protection appears authentic on its face.

(c) Filing of a foreign order of protection shall be without fee or cost.

(d) Upon receipt of a foreign order of protection, the tribal court clerk shall:

(1) Forward a copy of the foreign order of protection to an officer of the Coushatta Tribal Police Department.

(2) Provide the plaintiff with a document bearing proof of filing with the court.

Inform the plaintiff of the process for Tribal Court review of a foreign order of protection, and take steps to expedite review when the plaintiff perceives a risk of further harm.


3A.07.040 Tribal Court may recognize additional foreign orders.

Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent the Coushatta Tribal Court from entering into agreements, or establishing procedures by which orders of protection from jurisdictions not referred to in this Chapter may be filed with the Tribal Court and be entitled to full faith and credit.

Home  |   Search  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy Statement  |   Site Map