Sheriff Norton on Circuit Court Jurisdiction Ruling

While the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Tuesday means different things to different people and agencies, local law enforcement remains focused on collaboration and public safety. Uintah County Sheriff Vance Norton says he doesn’t anticipate change, at least for his department. “We already are working on a map that all parties can agree on,” shares Sheriff Norton, “and from that we will enforce the law according to where the crime takes place and who has jurisdiction over the person we are dealing with.” Tuesday’s ruling reverses a District Court dismissal of a lawsuit that the Ute Tribe had filed against Myton City and reassigns the jurisdiction dispute to a new judge. The jurisdiction dispute has been going on for decades as local parties have disagreed on tribal boundaries and who holds criminal jurisdiction where. Regardless of the history, Sheriff Norton still sees a positive future ahead. “I think we are moving forward in a very positive way,” says Sheriff Norton. “Our communication and cooperation with the Business Committee and Tribe has been very positive. Even though we have disagreements over different issues I have always said that having the Ute Tribe reservation in the Uintah Basin has been a blessing for a lot of reasons, some being the money that is spent in local stores and restaurants and especially when we’re in the bust cycle of the oilfield... they provide [jobs] to service companies in the oil field where millions of dollars are spent.” Norton also emphasized that his job is to protect the rights of Uintah County citizens and enforce State and Federal law when necessary. “If we deal with someone that has broken the law and it’s on [tribal land],” shares Sheriff Norton, “we will always work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and make sure the violations are sent to the appropriate court for prosecution and I know they do the same when dealing with non-tribal members. We have a good working relationship with them.”


Kristin Baldwin

Kristin never planned to work in news radio but has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the news team at KVEL. Her love of literature and writing developed in high school which led her to study English Literature and Technical Writing at BYU. She received her BA in English from BYU in 2005 and studied at UVU in Orem for 2 semesters to become a Certified Technical Writer in 2006. Two months after completion she began her dream job of being a stay-at-home mom.  As mother of 2 energetic kids, she began writing from home for the KVEL news team in 2011 and considers it the perfect fit as a full time mom and part time writer.