25 CFR 163.29 - Trespass.
(a) Trespassers will be liable for civil penalties and damages to the enforcement agency and the beneficial Indian owners, and will be subject to prosecution for acts of trespass.
(1) Cases in Tribal Court. For trespass actions brought in tribal court pursuant to these regulations, the measure of damages, civil penalties, remedies and procedures will be as set forth in this § 163.29 of this part. All other aspects of a tribal trespass prosecution brought under these regulations will be that prescribed by the law of the tribe in whose reservation or within whose jurisdiction the trespass was committed, unless otherwise prescribed under federal law. Absent applicable tribal or federal law, the measure of damages shall be that prescribed by the law of the state in which the trespass was committed.
(2) Cases in Federal Court. For trespass actions brought in Federal court pursuant to these regulations, the measure of damages, civil penalties, remedies and procedures will be as set forth in this § 163.29. In the absence of applicable federal law, the measure shall be that prescribed by the law of the tribe in whose reservation or within whose jurisdiction the trespass was committed, or in the absence of tribal law, the law of the state in which it was committed.
(3) Civil penalties for trespass include, but are not limited to:
(i) Treble damages, whenever any person, without lawful authority injures, severs, or carries off from a reservation any forest product as defined in § 163.1 of this part. Proof of Indian ownership of the premises and commission of the acts by the trespasser are prima facie evidence sufficient to support liability for treble damages, with no requirement to show willfulness or intent. Treble damages shall be based upon the highest stumpage value obtainable from the raw materials involved in the trespass.
(ii) Payment of costs associated with damage to Indian forest land includes, but is not limited to, rehabilitation, reforestation, lost future revenue and lost profits, loss of productivity, and damage to other forest resources.
(iii) Payment of all reasonable costs associated with the enforcement of these trespass regulations beginning with detection and including all processes through the prosecution and collection of damages, including but not limited to field examination and survey, damage appraisal, investigation assistance and reports, witness expenses, demand letters, court costs, and attorney fees.
(iv) Interest calculated at the statutory rate prescribed by the law of the tribe in whose reservation or within whose jurisdiction the trespass was committed, or in the absence of tribal law in the amount prescribed by federal law. Where tribal law or federal law does not supply a statutory interest rate, the rate of interest shall be statutory rate upon judgments as prescribed by the law of the state in which the trespass was committed. Interest shall be based on treble the highest stumpage value obtainable from the raw materials involved in the trespass, and calculated from the date of the trespass until payment is rendered.
(b) Any cash or other proceeds realized from forfeiture of equipment or other goods or from forest products damaged or taken in the trespass shall be applied to satisfy civil penalties and other damages identified under § 163.29(a) of this part. After disposition of real and personal property to pay civil penalties and damages resulting from trespass, any residual funds shall be returned to the trespasser. In the event that collection and forfeiture actions taken against the trespasser result in less than full recovery, civil penalties shall be distributed as follows:
(1) Collection of damages up to the highest stumpage value of the trespass products shall be distributed pro rata between the Indian beneficial owners and any costs and expenses needed to restore the trespass land; or
(2) Collections exceeding the highest stumpage value of the trespass product, but less than full recovery, shall be proportionally distributed pro rata between the Indian beneficial owners, the law enforcement agency, and the cost to restore the trespass land. Forest management deductions shall not be withheld where less than the highest stumpage value of the unprocessed forest products taken in trespass has been recovered.
(c) Indian beneficial owners who trespass, or who are involved in trespass upon their own land, or undivided land in which such owners have a partial interest, shall not receive their beneficial share of any civil penalties and damages collected in consequence of the trespass. Any civil penalties and damages defaulted in consequence of this provision instead shall be distributed first toward restoration of the land subject of the trespass and second toward costs of the enforcement agency in consequence of the trespass, with any remainder to the forest management deduction account of the reservation in which the trespass took place.
(d) Civil penalties and other damages collected under these regulations, except for penalties and damages provided for in §§ 163.29(a)(3) (ii) and (iii) of this part, shall be treated as proceeds from the sale of forest products from the Indian forest land upon which the trespass occurred.
(e) When a federal official or authorized tribal representative pursuant to § 163.29(j) of this part has reason to believe that Indian forest products are involved in trespass, such individual may seize and take possession of the forest products involved in the trespass if the products are located on reservation. When forest products are seized, the person seizing the products must at the time of the seizure issue a Notice of Seizure to the possessor or claimant of the forest products. The Notice of Seizure shall indicate the date of the seizure, a description of the forest products seized, the estimated value of forest products seized, an indication of whether the forest products are perishable, and the name and authority of the person seizing the forest products. Where the official initiates seizure under these regulations only, the Notice of Seizure shall further include the statement that any challenge or objection to the seizure shall be exclusively through administrative appeal pursuant to part 2 of title 25, and shall provide the name and the address of the official with whom the appeal may be filed. Alternately, an official may exercise concurrent tribal seizure authority under these regulations using applicable tribal law. In such case, the Notice of Seizure shall identify the tribal law under which the seizure may be challenged, if any. A copy of a Notice of Seizure shall be given to the possessor or claimant at the time of the seizure. If the claimant or possessor is unknown or unavailable, Notice of Seizure shall be posted on the trespass property, and a copy of the Notice shall be kept with any incident report generated by the official seizing the forest products. If the property seized is perishable and will lose substantial value if not sold or otherwise disposed of, the representative of the Secretary, or authorized tribal representative where deferral has been requested, may cause the forest products to be sold. Such sale action shall not be stayed by the filing of an administrative appeal nor by a challenge of the seizure action through a tribal forum. All proceeds from the sale of the forest products shall be placed into an escrow account and held until adjudication or other resolution of the underlying trespass. If it is found that the forest products seized were involved in a trespass, the proceeds shall be applied to the amount of civil penalties and damages awarded. If it is found that a trespass has not occurred or the proceeds are in excess of the amount of the judgment awarded, the proceeds or excess proceeds shall be returned to the possessor or claimant.
(f) When there is reason to believe that Indian forest products are involved in trespass and that such products have been removed to land not under federal or tribal government supervision, the federal official or authorized tribal representative pursuant to § 163.29(k) of this part responsible for the trespass shall immediately provide the following notice to the owner of the land or the party in possession of the trespass products:
(1) That such products could be Indian trust property involved in a trespass; and
(2) That removal or disposition of the forest products may result in criminal and/or civil action by the United States or tribe.
(g) A representative of the Secretary or authorized tribal representative pursuant to § 163.29(j) of this part will promptly determine if a trespass has occurred. The appropriate representative will issue an official Notice of Trespass to the alleged trespasser and, if necessary, the possessor or potential buyer of any trespass products. The Notice is intended to inform the trespasser, buyer, or the processor:
(1) That a determination has been made that a trespass has occurred;
(2) The basis for the determination;
(3) An assessment of the damages, penalties and costs;
(4) Of the seizure of forest products, if applicable; and
(5) That disposition or removal of Indian forest products taken in the trespass may result in civil and/or criminal action by the United States or the tribe.
(h) The Secretary may accept payment of damages in the settlement of civil trespass cases. In the absence of a court order, the Secretary will determine the procedure and approve acceptance of any settlements negotiated by a tribe exercising its concurrent jurisdiction pursuant to § 163.29(j) of this part.
(i) The Secretary may delegate by written agreement or contract, responsibility for detection and investigation of forest trespass.
(j) Indian tribes that adopt the regulations set forth in this section, conformed as necessary to tribal law, shall have concurrent civil jurisdiction to enforce 25 U.S.C. 3106 and this section against any person.
(1) The Secretary shall acknowledge said concurrent civil jurisdiction over trespass, upon:
(i) Receipt of a formal tribal resolution documenting the tribe's adoption of this section; and
(ii) Notification of the ability of the tribal court system to properly adjudicate forest trespass cases, including a statement that the tribal court will enforce the Indian Civil Rights Act or a tribal civil rights law that contains provisions for due process and equal protection that are similar to or stronger than those contained in the Indian Civil Rights Act.
(2) Where an Indian tribe has acquired concurrent civil jurisdiction over trespass cases as set forth in § 163.29(j)(1) of this part, the Secretary and tribe's authorized representatives will be jointly responsible to coordinate prosecution of trespass actions. The Secretary shall, upon timely request of the tribe, defer prosecution of forest trespasses to the tribe. Where said deferral is not requested, the designated Bureau of Indian Affairs forestry trespass official shall coordinate with the authorized forest trespass official of each tribe the exercise of concurrent tribal and Federal trespass jurisdiction as to each trespass. Such officials shall review each case, determine in which forums to recommend bringing an action, and promptly provide their recommendation to the Federal officials responsible for initiating and prosecuting forest trespass cases. Where an Indian tribe has acquired concurrent civil jurisdiction, but does not request deferral of prosecution, the federal officials responsible for initiating and prosecuting such cases may file and prosecute the action in the tribal court or forum.
(3) The Secretary may rescind an Indian tribe's concurrent civil jurisdiction over trespass cases under this regulation if the Secretary or a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the tribal court has not adhered to the due process or equal protection requirements of the Indian Civil Rights Act. If it is determined that said rescission is justified, the Secretary shall provide written Notice of the rescission, including the findings justifying the rescission and the steps needed to remedy the violations causing the rescission, to the chief judge of the tribal judiciary or other authorized tribal official should there be no chief judge. If said steps are not taken within 60 days, the Secretary's rescission of concurrent civil jurisdiction shall become final. The affected tribe(s) may appeal a Notice of Rescission under part 2 of title 25.
(4) Nothing shall be construed to prohibit or in any way diminish the authority of a tribe to prosecute individuals under its criminal or civil trespass laws where it has jurisdiction over those individuals.