How to file a claim against an Indian tribe in California

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.

-Samuel Johnson

How to file a claim against an Indian tribe in California? It depends on the tribe, but most follow the same procedure. Follow these general steps to ensure you follow the basic procedure.

Step 1

Report the claim. Generally that means reporting it to security, personnel, or other staff. Make sure someone on staff knows what happened and obtain their name and title.

Step 2

Obtain the required paperwork. Most tribes have their own paperwork they use to record claims. It’s usually one to two pages. Be sure you obtain it but be careful filling it out. What you say or don’t say can be used against you.

Step 3

Complete the paperwork and turn it in by the right time. This step can be tricky. Most, if not all, paperwork must be completed and turned into the tribe within sixty days of the incident. That’s a short period of time, especially if someone is recovering from an injury. Sometimes medical records and bills are also required. You must turn in the paperwork by the required time or you’ve lost the right to bring a claim.

Step 4

Turn the paperwork in to the right person or place. That information is generally found on the paperwork itself. For example, the paperwork may give you an address where you must send it. It’s best to send the paperwork by certified mail so you can show it was delivered.


This process can be tricky. It is, however, similar to the process required when bringing a claim against a public entity in California. Here’s our blog on how to do that: How to file a claim against the City of San Diego.

Filing the claim is the first step in dealing with Indian tribes, and it’s usually the easier. From there on it can get tough. Best to speak with an Indian Casino Accident Attorney.

Questions? Contact Me for a free consultation.

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