Nebraska Court Records
Where to Find Nebraska Civil Court Records
Nebraska Civil Court records are official documents on civil actions and proceedings involving two or more parties within Nebraska's jurisdiction. These documents include filings, disclosure statements, court transcripts, motions, notices of hearings, affidavits, and interrogatories created during civil litigations. The Clerk of Courts creates, maintains, and disseminates Civil Court records in the District Court where the case was filed. Likewise, requesters may obtain these Civil Court records on Nebraska.CourtRecords.Org.
Are Nebraska Civil Court Records Public?
Yes, under the Nebraska Public Records Law, interested members of the public may access and copy non-confidential Civil Court records at the Clerk of Courts Office in the local courthouse where the case was filed. However, the public may not access Civil Court records that contain sensitive identifying information on individuals or information on minors. Otherwise, only the following entities have access to confidential and sealed court records:
- Individuals involved in the litigation
- Legal designees of the litigants
- Attorneys of litigants
- Certain government agencies such as court officials and law enforcement
- Requesters armed with a court order
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
Types of Cases in Nebraska Civil Courts
Generally, Nebraska Civil Courts hear and settle non-criminal cases under the Nebraska Code of Civil Procedure. These cases are typically disputes involving two or more individuals as well as private and public entities. Unlike criminal cases, defendants do not face criminal charges or penalties. The court resolves civil cases by compelling the defendant to fulfill an obligation or pay the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff. The parties involved may also resolve the dispute through mediated out-of-court settlements before the case proceeds to trial. Examples of civil cases include:
- Torts and personal injury claims
- Replevin actions
- Environmental regulations disputes
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Non-violent civil rights violations such as discrimination
- Business and contract disputes
- Intellectual property disputes
- Unfair business practices
- Medical malpractice claims
- Employer-employee disputes
- Real estate and boundary disputes
- Divorce and separation
- Child custody and child support
- Spousal support
- Small Claims
What is the Difference between Criminal Cases and Civil Cases in Nebraska?
The Nebraska Code of Criminal Procedure regards criminal cases as those involving offenses that harmed or have the potential to damage another individual or entity. In this case, the financial loss suffered by the victim is not the leading cause of litigation. The court imposes penalties such as incarceration or fines on the guilty offender. Also, the state initiates legal action during a criminal case. On the other hand, the Nebraska Code of Civil Procedure regards civil cases as those involving non-violent disputes between individuals, private businesses, or public institutions regarding failed duties or obligations. The court resolves civil cases by compelling the other party to fulfill a requirement or compensate the plaintiff for damages. Also, the plaintiff must initiate legal action during a civil case.
How Do I Find Civil Court Records In Nebraska?
The Clerk of Courts creates, maintains, and disseminates Civil Court records at the local court where the case was filed and heard. The Nebraska Judiciary maintains a directory of the addresses and contact information of all District Court Clerks on the Nebraska judicial web page. Generally, a requester must visit the Clerk's Office during business hours to obtain the court records of interest. Moreover, courts may allow mail-in requests, remote online access, or access at public terminals in the courthouse. Generally, in-person and online requests are the fastest means of accessing court records.
However, regardless of the means of access, a requester must provide the records' custodian with all the relevant information needed to facilitate the record search. Relevant information includes the date of filing, personal information about the litigants, case number, and docket number.
Furthermore, requesters will be required to provide a government-issued photo identification to access court records at the Clerk's Office. Most courts also require requesters to pay a small fee to facilitate the search and cover the costs of copying the documents. Requests for certified records may incur additional charges. Likewise, requesters who seek confidential and sealed court records must provide a court order along with the requirements mentioned above.
How Do I Find Civil Court Records Online?
Generally, requesters may obtain Nebraska Civil Court records online using the electronic case management resources on the state or local judiciary website. However, the online availability of court records differs from county to county. At the state level, the Nebraska Judiciary is the central custodian of all Civil Court Records. Requesters may access court records on the Nebraska electronic case management portals for a one-time search or multiple searches. Third-party websites provide online access to court records. These websites are especially useful in finding multiple court records in different local jurisdictions.
However, online access to confidential or sealed records containing the following is restricted:
- Identifying information on a minor
- Testimony from a juvenile or minor
- Guardianship terminating parental rights
- Specific information on marriage licenses
- Emergency mental health evaluations
- Income tax returns
- Financial statements containing PINs and SSNs (except the last four digits)
- Court records in a civil harassment proceeding
What Is Included In a Nebraska Civil Court Record?
The information on Civil Court records varies depending on the nature of the case, the litigants involved, and the local jurisdiction. However, a typical Civil Court record contains the following information:
- Name and address of the litigants
- Name and address of the litigants' attorney (if represented)
- Court summons
- Notices of hearing
- Details of the complaint or claim
- Amendments to the complaint or claim
- Disclosure statement
- Damages sought
- Affidavits and exhibits
- Court transcripts
- Judges' notes (if applicable)
- Final judgments, agreements, or settlements
How to Access Nebraska Civil Court Records For Free
Generally, the Clerk of District Court provides free access to the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) portal on public terminals. The PACER system also exempts certain individuals from paying access fees under specific .circumstances. Likewise, the Clerk of Courts may also waive associated access fees if the requester qualifies. However, sensitive records and private information are not available with a waiver. To access these records, the requester must present a court order to the official custodian of the record.
How to Seal Civil Court Records in Nebraska
The petitioner must file a motion to seal with the Clerk of Courts, where the case was heard to seal a civil court record in Nebraska. The court may grant the request to seal or redact all or parts of records in a civil action on the grounds that demonstrate compelling privacy or safety interests that outweigh public interest to access the court record. The litigants, attorneys of the litigants, their legal designees, certain court officials, and government agencies retain access to the sealed court records. However, members of the public and potential employers cannot access sealed court records without a court order.
How to Access Sealed Civil Court Records in Nebraska
Generally, the records' custodian will deny a request to access sealed civil court records. Thus, the requester must petition the court to issue a court order or subpoena. The court will only grant the petition if the requester demonstrates specific legal interests and meets court requirements. Requesters who wish to access sealed court records may consult a civil law attorney or inquire about the procedure at the Clerk of Courts Office.