Friday, January 20, 2012

U.S. v. Juvenile Male, No.11-30065 (1-20-12)(McKeown with Guy and Tallman).

The issue of "Who is an Indian" is raised in this juvenile matter. The juvenile is at least one-quarter Indian blood, and is enrolled in a tribe, resides on a reservation, and has received membership benefits. He argues, however, that he does not consider himself an Indian. It does not matter here what he thinks, reasons the 9th, because under the jurisdictional test established in Bruce, 394 F.3d at 1223-24 and more recently in U.S. v. Maggi, 598 F.3d 1073 (9th Cir. 2010), there was sufficient evidence for a trier of fact to determine he was an Indian beyond a reasonable doubt. The juvenile defendant did not contest the blood quantum prong of Bruce (some Indian blood), and he met three of the four factors in the second prong, looking at recognition -- enrollment, residence, membership benefits. There was more than enough evidence, even aside from the own consideration, to meet the jurisdictional test.


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