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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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