State jurisdiction at issue in another Minnesota case

State jurisdiction over tribal members who live on reservations in Minnesota is at issue in another critical case.

The state is trying to impose a "civil commitment" on Elias Edward Thompson, who is considered a violent offender. Even though he has already served time for his violent crimes, the state wants to keep him locked up.

Thompson's lawyer argues that is illegal under a recent state appeals court ruling. The court limited the state's civil jurisdiction over tribal members who live in Indian Country.

Thompson lives on the White Earth Ojibwe Reservation. White Earth Band Chairwoman Erma Vizenor said the tribe, not the state, should decide whether he needs to remain committed.

Get the Story:
Authority to commit offenders is tested (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 8/9)

Court Decision:
Minnesota v. Jones (July 26, 2005)

Related Stories:
Minnesota tribes work with state to track offenders (8/2)
Editorial: State shouldn't fight tribal sovereignty (8/1)
Pawlenty wants jurisdiction ruling overturned (7/29)
State may seek agreements with tribes on registry (7/28)
Minnesota appeals court limits state jurisdiction (7/27)