United States Commission on Civil Rights

Confidential Draft Report
“Enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968”

May 1990


Indian Civil Rights, page 29
     In 1985, allegations that the right to counsel had been violated by Red Lake surfaced in the form of a habeas corpus petition to a federal court. [63]  In response, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota ordered the release of two prisoners on the grounds that the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses had denied them the right to counsel, the right to bail, and the right to a jury trial. [64]  The decision read, in part:

     The evidence in this case leads this court to the inescapable conclusion that the rights guaranteed petitioners by the Indian Civil Rights Act were trampled upon by the officials of the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses.  Whether the actions of the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses were intentional or simply the result of unfamiliarity with the obligations incident to running a court is of no concern to this court at this time.  It is sufficient to state that Greg Good and Douglas Neadeau did not receive the minimum procedural protections required by the Indian Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.[65]

__________
    [63]  Good v. Graves, Civ. No. 6-85-508, (D.Minn., May 20, 1985)
    
     [64] Id.  In 1982, the denial of jury trials by the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses had been previously documented in a report on the Red Lake Court by the National Center for State Courts.  According to the report, "Interviews with the Chief Magistrate and the Agency Special Officer indicated that the Red Lake court has never had a jury trial and juries were not being provided even when requested by parties."  National Center for State Courts, Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses[:] Management Audit Technical Assistance Report 13 (1982).

     [65]  Good v. Graves, Civ. No. 6-85-508, slip op. at 3-5 (D-Minn., May 20, 1985).

< HOME >
< INDEX >
< NEXT >