Jurisdictional boundaries between tribal authorities and state, local, and federal authorities can be difficult to navigate in any type of case, and those involving elder abuse are no exception. These cases often pose additional challenges beyond the ordinary. Gaps in information, knowledge, services, and investigative procedures generate disruptions in communication which compound the complexity of the case. Unnecessary delays are common, which creates additional risks for an elder population. COVID-19 has heightened vulnerabilities with fewer mandated reporters witnessing abuse and neglect. While there is more recognition of overlapping jurisdiction regarding guardianships and certain criminal cases than ever, this positive development can sometimes lead to confusion over whether the tribal community or the state will administer the case.
This webinar will explore the challenges faced by judges handling elder abuse cases on a tribal and state level, as well as pose ideas for how to best address those challenges. This presentation will also walk the participants through the potential hurdles investigators face as they navigate these cases across state and tribal lands, including managing communications with federal agencies.
This webinar is intended to help participants equip themselves with the best possible information to make decisions surrounding elder abuse. Participants will be introduced to draft orders that can be utilized to initially gather the information needed to make a responsible decision, protect the vulnerable, and strengthen and/or create positive relationships between tribal and state courts.
Faculty: Hon. Michael Long, Judge, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and Brandi Fitzgibbon, Lead Worker and Investigator for Adult Protective Services, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.