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How Does the Nebraska County Court Work?

The County Courts are trial courts in the Nebraska court system with limited jurisdiction over certain civil and criminal matters heard in the state. Generally, Nebraska County Courts hear the following types of cases:

  • Municipal ordinance violation cases
  • Preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases
  • Misdemeanor criminal offenses and traffic infraction cases (the County Courts share jurisdiction with the District Courts over these types of cases)
  • Small claims cases
  • Matters involving probate, guardianship, and conservatorship
  • Matters involving adoptions
  • Juvenile matters (County Courts do not have jurisdiction over these types of cases in the counties that have Separate Juvenile Courts)
  • Divorce matters (the County Courts share jurisdiction with the District Courts over these types of cases)
  • General civil cases where the amount in controversy is not more than $57,000 (the County Courts share jurisdiction with the District Courts over these types of cases)

Selection as a County Court judge is made by a judicial nominating commission and the state governor. The judicial nominating commission comprises four lawyers elected by the Nebraska State Bar Association, four non-lawyers selected by the governor, and the chief justice or an associate justice of the state’s Supreme Court, who serves as the commission’s chairperson. When there is a vacant County Court judgeship position, the vacancy is filled through the following process:

  • The judicial nominating commission announces the vacancy, and a public hearing is set for not later than 60 days after the announcement;
  • Interested applicants submit applications to the judicial nominating commission not later than 21 days before the public hearing (during this period, the commission can also actively seek out individuals it deems qualified for the position);
  • A list of all approved applicants is released to the public not later than ten days before the public hearing;
  • At the public hearing, interested persons may voice their opinions on the approved applicants. The applicants are also given to opportunity to speak;
  • The judicial nominating commission holds a private interview of some or all the candidates (Optional);
  • The judicial nominating commission holds a closed meeting to vote on the applicants (excluding the chairperson of the commission, all other members must be present for this vote);
  • The names of the applicants that receive at least five votes are forwarded to the Nebraska state governor;
  • The governor appoints the new County Court judge from these nominees, not later than 60 days after receiving the names (if the governor is unable to make an appointment before the end of 60 days, then the appointment is made by the chief justice of the Supreme Court)

Newly appointed County Court judges serve an initial term of three years, after which they are required to stand in a retention election. If voted in after the retention election, the judges then serve terms of six years, with a retention election after every sixth year. Before a person can be appointed as a Nebraska County Court judge, the person must meet the following criteria:

  • The person must be a citizen of the United States that is at least 30 years old.
  • The person must be licensed to practice law in Nebraska and must have practiced in the state for a minimum of five years.

The Nebraska County Courts are divided into 12 judicial districts, and each year, the County Court judges in each district select a presiding judge to oversee the district’s administration. The counties in each district are listed below:

  • District 1 - Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, and Thayer Counties
  • District 2—Cass, Otoe, and Sarpy Counties
  • District 3 - Lancaster County
  • District 4—Douglas County
  • District 5 - Boone, Butler, Colfax, Hamilton, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk, Saunders, Seward, and York Counties
  • District 6 - Burt, Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Thurston, and Washington Counties
  • District 7 - Antelope, Cuming, Madison, Knox, Pierce, Stanton, and Wayne Counties
  • District 8 - Blaine, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Howard, Loup, Keya Paha, Rock, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler Counties
  • District 9 - Buffalo and Hall Counties
  • District 10 - Adams, Clay, Fillmore, Franklin, Harlan, Kearney, Nuckolls, Phelps, and Webster Counties
  • District 11 - Arthur, Chase, Dawson, Dundy, Furnas, Hayes, Frontier, Gosper, Hitchcock, Hooker, Keith, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Perkins, Red Willow, and Thomas Counties
  • District 12 - Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux Counties

When appointed, County Court judges typically hire clerk magistrates to aid with the administrative functions of the court office and perform specific judicial responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Setting bail
  • Accepting pleas in traffic and misdemeanor cases
  • Performing weddings

The length of time it takes before a judgment is issued in a case by a Nebraska County Court judge varies and is usually dependent on the type of case being heard. Generally, most dispositions issued by these courts are done no later than 18 months after the case was filed. Decisions issued in these courts are usually appealed to the District Courts. However, appeals in cases involving adoptions, probate, guardianship, and conservatorship are filed directly at the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Parties that wish to appeal a Nebraska County Court’s decision must do so within 30 days after the decision was issued.

Records of cases filed in the County Courts can be obtained online via the justice court case search portal. This website is provided and maintained by the Nebraska judicial system, and parties that wish to utilize it will be required to pay $15 per record. Copies of Nebraska County Court records can also be obtained by contacting the clerk at the court where the case was heard.

Contact information for the state’s County Courts can be gotten below:

County Court of Adams County
500 West 4th Street
P.O. Box 95
Hastings, NE 68902
Phone: (402) 461–7143

County Court of Antelope County
501 Main Street
Room 1
P.O. Box 26
Neligh, NE 68756
Phone: (402) 887–4650

County Court of Arthur County
P.O. Box 146
Arthur, NE 69121
Phone: (308) 764–2201

County Court of Banner County
206 State Street
Harrisburg, NE 69345
Phone: (308) 436–6648

County Court of Blaine County
145 Lincoln Avenue
Brewster, NE 68821
Phone: (308) 547–2340

County Court of Boone County
222 South 4th Street
Albion, NE 68620
Phone: (402) 395–6184

County Court of Box Butte County
515 Box Butte Avenue
Suite 100
Alliance, NE 69301
Phone: (308) 762–6800

County Court of Boyd County
401 Thayer Street
Box 396
Butte, NE 68722
Phone: (402) 775–2211

County Court of Brown County
148 West 4th Street
Ainsworth, NE 69210
Phone: (402) 387–2864

County Court of Buffalo County
1512 Central Avenue
P.O. Box 520
Kearney, NE 68848
Phone: (308) 236–1229

County Court of Burt County
111 North 13th Street
Suite 9
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374–2950

County Court of Butler County
451 North 5th Street
David City, NE 68632
Phone: (402) 367–7480

County Court of Cass County
346 Main Street
Room 201
Plattsmouth, NE 68048
Phone: (402) 296–9334

County Court of Cedar County
101 South Broadway Avenue
P.O. Box 695
Hartington, NE 68739
Phone: (402) 254–7441

County Court of Chase County
921 Broadway
P.O. Box 1299
Imperial, NE 69033
Phone: (308) 882–7519

County Court of Cherry County
365 North Main Street
Valentine, NE 69201
Phone: (402) 376–2590

County Court of Cheyenne County
1000 10th Avenue
Sidney, NE 69162
Phone: (308) 254–2929

County Court of Clay County
111 West Fairfield Street
Clay Center, NE 68933
Phone: (402) 762–3651

County Court of Colfax County
411 East 11th Street
P.O. Box 191
Schuyler, NE 68661
Phone: (402) 352–8511

County Court of Cuming County
200 South Lincoln Street
Room 103
West Point, NE 68788
Phone: (402) 372–6003

County Court of Custer County
604 Heritage Drive
Broken Bow, NE 68822
Phone: (308) 872–5761

County Court of Dakota County
1601 Broadway
P.O. Box 385
Dakota City, NE 68731
Phone: (402) 987–2145

County Court of Dawes County
451 Main Street
Chadron, NE 69337
Phone: (308) 432–0116

County Court of Dawson County
700 North Washington
Lexington, NE 68850
Phone: (308) 324–5606

County Court of Deuel County
718 3rd Street
P.O. Box 514
Chappell, NE 69129
Phone: (308) 874–2909

County Court of Dixon County
302 3rd Street
P.O. Box 497
Ponca, NE 68770
Phone: (402) 755–5607

County Court of Dodge County
428 North Broad Street
Fremont, NE 68025
Phone: (402) 727–2889

County Court of Douglas County
Hall of Justice
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444–5387

County Court of Dundy County
102 7th Avenue West
P.O. Box 378
Benkelman, NE 69021
Phone: (308) 423–2374

County Court of Fillmore County
900 G Street
P.O. Box 66
Geneva, NE 68361
Phone: (402) 759–3514

County Court of Franklin County
405 15th Avenue
P.O. Box 174
Franklin, NE 68939
Phone: (308) 425–6288

County Court of Frontier County
P.O. Box 38
Stockville, NE 69042
Phone: (308) 367–8629

County Court of Furnas County
P.O. Box 373
Beaver City, NE 68926
Phone: (308) 268–4025

County Court of Gage County
612 Grant Street
Room 17
Beatrice, NE 68310
Phone: (402) 223–1323

County Court of Garden County
611 Main Street
P.O. Box 465
Oshkosh, NE 69154
Phone: (308) 772–3696

County Court of Garfield County
250 South 8th Avenue
P.O. Box 431
Burwell, NE 68823
Phone: (308) 346–4123

County Court of Gosper County
507 Smith Avenue
P.O. Box 55
Elwood, NE 68937
Phone: (308) 785–2531

County Court of Grant County
P.O. Box 97
Hyannis, NE 69350
Phone: (308) 458–2433

County Court of Greeley County
101 South Kildare Street
P.O. Box 302
Greeley, NE 68842
Phone: (308) 428–2705

County Court of Hall County
111 West 1st Street
Suite 1
Grand Island, NE 68801
Phone: (308) 385–5135

County Court of Hamilton County
1111 13th Street
P.O. Box 323
Aurora, NE 68818
Phone: (402) 694–6188

County Court of Harlan County
706 West 2nd Street
P.O. Box 379
Alma, NE 68920
Phone: (308) 928–2179

County Court of Hayes County
505 Troth Street
P.O. Box 370
Hayes Center, NE 69032
Phone: (308) 286–3315

County Court of Hitchcock County
229 East D Street
P.O. Box 248
Trenton, NE 69044
Phone: (308) 334–5383

County Court of Holt County
204 North 4th Street
O’Neill, NE 68763
Phone: (402) 336–1662

County Court of Hooker County
P.O. Box 184
Mullen, NE 69152
Phone: (308) 546–2249

County Court of Howard County
612 Indian Street
Suite 6
St. Paul, NE 68873
Phone: (308) 754–4192

County Court of Jefferson County
411 4th Street
Fairbury, NE 68352
Phone: (402) 729–6801

County Court of Johnson County
4th & Broadway Street
P.O. Box 285
Tecumseh, NE 68450
Phone: (402) 335–6313

County Court of Kearney County
426 North Colorado Avenue
P.O. Box 377
Minden, NE 68959
Phone: (308) 832–2719

County Court of Keith County
511 North Spruce Street
Room 105
Ogallala, NE 69153
Phone: (308) 284–3693

County Court of Keya Paha County
148 West 4th Street
Ainsworth, NE 69210
Phone: (402) 497–3021

County Court of Kimball County
114 East 3rd Street
Kimball, NE 69145
Phone: (308) 235–2831

County Court of Knox County
P.O. Box 125
Center, NE 68724
Phone: (402) 288–5607

County Court of Lancaster County
Justice and Law Enforcement Center
575 South 10th Street
2nd Floor
Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 441–7271 (Civil/Small Claims)

Phone: (402) 441–8959 (Criminal/Traffic)

Phone: (402) 441–7443 (Probate)

County Court of Lincoln County
301 North Jeffers Street
Room 207
North Platte, NE 69101
Phone: (308) 534–4350 ext. 240

County Court of Logan County
P.O. Box 8
Stapleton, NE 69163
Phone: (308) 636–2677

County Court of Loup County
P.O. Box 146
Taylor, NE 68873
Phone: (308) 942–6035

County Court of Madison County
1313 North Main Street
P.O. Box 230
Madison, NE 68748
Phone: (402) 454–3311 ext. 165

County Court of McPherson County
P.O. Box 122
Tryon, NE 69167
Phone: (308) 587–2363

County Court of Merrick County
1510 18th Street
P.O. Box 27
Central City, NE 68826
Phone: (308) 946–2812

County Court of Morrill County
P.O. Box 418
Bridgeport, NE 69336
Phone: (308) 262–0812

County Court of Nance County
209 Esther Street
P.O. Box 837
Fullerton, NE 68638
Phone: (308) 536–2675

County Court of Nemaha County
1824 N Street
Suite 302
Auburn, NE 68305
Phone: (402) 274–3008

County Court of Nuckolls County
150 South Main Street
P.O. Box 372
Nelson, NE 68961
Phone: (402) 225–2371

County Court of Otoe County
P.O. Box 487
Nebraska City, NE 68410
Phone: (402) 873–9574

County Court of Pawnee County
625 6th Street
P.O. Box 471
Pawnee City, NE 68420
Phone: (402) 852–2388

County Court of Perkins County
200 Lincoln Avenue
P.O. Box 222
Grant, NE 69140
Phone: (308) 352–7530

County Court of Phelps County
715 5th Avenue
P.O. Box 255
Holdrege, NE 68949
Phone: (308) 995–6561

County Court of Pierce County
111 West Court Street
Room 11
Pierce, NE 68767
Phone: (402) 329–6245

County Court of Platte County
2610 14th Street
P.O. Box 538
Columbus, NE 68601
Phone: (402) 563–4905

County Court of Polk County
400 Hawkeye Street
P.O. Box 506
Osceola, NE 68651
Phone: (402) 747–3487

County Court of Red Willow County
502 Norris Avenue
P.O. Box 199
McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345–1904

County Court of Richardson County
1700 Stone Street
Room 205
Falls City, NE 68355
Phone: (402) 245–2812

County Court of Rock County
400 South State Street
P.O. Box 249
Bassett, NE 68714
Phone: (402) 684–3601

County Court of Saline County
215 South Court Street
P.O. Box 865
Wilber, NE 68465
Phone: (402) 821–2131

County Court of Sarpy County
1210 Golden Gate Drive
Suite 3142
Papillion, NE 68046
Phone: (402) 593–5775

County Court of Saunders County
387 North Chestnut Street
Suite 5
Wahoo, NE 68066
Phone: (402) 443–8119

County Court of Scotts Bluff County
1725 10th Street
Gering, NE 69341
Phone: (308) 436–6648

County Court of Seward County
529 Seward Street
Room 301
Seward, NE 68434
Phone: (402) 643–3341

County Court of Sheridan County
303 East 2nd Street
P.O. Box 430
Rushville, NE 69360
Phone: (308) 327–5656

County Court of Sherman County
P.O. Box 55
Loup City, NE 68853
Phone: (308) 745–1513

County Court of Sioux County
325 Main Street
P.O. Box 477
Harrison, NE 69346
Phone: (308) 668–2475

County Court of Stanton County
804 Ivy Street
P.O. Box 536
Stanton, NE 68779
Phone: (402) 439–2221

County Court of Thayer County
225 North 4th Street
Room 203
Hebron, NE 68370
Phone: (402) 768–6325

County Court of Thomas County
503 Main Street
P.O. Box 233
Thedford, NE 69166
Phone: (308) 645–2266

County Court of Thurston County
106 5th Street
P.O. Box 129
Pender, NE 68047
Phone: (402) 385–3136

County Court of Valley County
125 South 15th Street
Ord, NE 68862
Phone: (308) 728–3831

County Court of Washington County
1555 Colfax Street
Blair, NE 68008
Phone: (402) 426–6833

County Court of Wayne County
510 Pearl Street
Suite B
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: (402) 375–1622

County Court of Webster County
621 North Cedar
Red Cloud, NE 68970
Phone: (402) 746–2777

County Court of Wheeler County
301 3rd Street
P.O. Box 127
Bartlett, NE 68622
Phone: (308) 654–3376

County Court of York County
510 North Lincoln Avenue
York, NE 68467
Phone: (402) 362–4925

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