The U.S. Supreme Court
today denied a petition in Cavanaugh v. US
, an Indian Country domestic violence case
Roman Cavanaugh Jr., a member of the Spirit Lake Dakotah
in North Dakota, pleaded guilty to two felony child abuse charges. He
admitted that he used a closed fist to strike his 11-year-old and 12-year-old
sons in their faces in December 2010.
Due to prior tribal court convictions, Cavanaugh was charged as a "habitual" domestic offender 18 U.S.C. § 117
. In July, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled that federal prosecutors can use the tribal cases even though he was never
provided with an attorney.
The Supreme Court, without comment, declined to hear the case in an order
Justice Elena Kagan, who was Solicitor General
at the Department of Justice
when Cavanaugh was being prosecuted, did not participation in the consideration of the petition.
The Supreme Court has a similar case pending in Shavanaux v. US
, involving Adam Ray Shavanaux, a member of the Ute Tribe
of Utah who was also
charged as a "habitual" domestic violence.
DOJ's response was filed February 8.
8th Circuit Decision:US v.
(July 6, 2011)
10th Circuit Decision:US v.
(July 26, 2011)
Two Indian domestic
violence cases before Supreme Court
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