Are Nebraska Court Records Public?
The Nebraska Public Records Law permits all citizens of the state and all other interested persons to inspect and obtain copies of public records of government bodies. Consequently, qualified individuals can request and obtain Nebraska court records being public records, except they are not subject to public disclosure. Public records include all documents, irrespective of their physical forms, generated by government officials while performing their duties to the public. The Nebraska Public Records Law applies to all the branches of government at all levels (local and state). It is optional for persons who seek to obtain Nebraska public records to state the purpose of making such requests. They are also not limited to the use of obtained records. § 84-712.03 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes authorizes anyone denied access to Nebraska public records to petition the state Attorney General. The essence is to determine if such documents are exempt from public disclosure or whether the custodian is not complying with the provisions of the Public Records Law. The following are some exceptions of the exceptions to Nebraska Public Records Law:
- Law enforcement investigations
- Trade secrets
- Medical records
- Information and documents bothering security
A public record search in Nebraska by any custodian is free of charge, but state law permits nominal fees for making copies of records. However, members of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs are exempted from paying such fees. The Nebraska Public Records Law was enacted in 1886 and has had a few amendments, the most recent being in 2007. It was first amended in 1961 to allow the public to make abstracts from public records.
What Shows Up on a Nebraska Court Records Search
Nebraska court records are documents generated during court proceedings. They may include books, papers, calendars, statistical schedules, and reports, amongst other documents relevant to the administration of court cases. Court records are accessible by members of the public in Nebraska, according to § 1-803 of the Supreme Court Rules. Court records are maintained and issued by the judiciary institutions in Nebraska.
A Nebraska court record search is typically performed to access court case information. The information, in turn, may be used for legal research purposes or by historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists. However, they are especially critical in dispensing the law, evaluating the efficiency of the Nebraska judiciary, and monitoring state residents' criminal history and/or judicial history.
How Do I Find Court Records in Nebraska?
The first step to take when trying to obtain court records in Nebraska is to find out the court where such documents are filed. The courthouses where proceedings occur in Nebraska typically keep records of court cases. Nebraska court records include civil court trials, misdemeanor court cases, divorce court cases, traffic court citations, and felony court cases. These records are publicly accessible in many ways, but interested persons must know what they seek and where to find them. Nebraska court records are available online and in courthouses.
Nebraska Court Records Public Access
Interested persons can use the JUSTICE one-time court case search system to access court cases filed in all 93 Nebraska District and County Courts. Developed by the Nebraska Judicial Branch, this case management system can provide remote access to all public information on up to 30 court cases. Members of the public must, however, subscribe to Nebraska.gov to view Nebraska court records and other documents online. The JUSTICE search, when used, returns information such as case details, court cost, party listing, payments, and register of actions. The cost of using this case management is $15 per search, and users can either pay with a credit card or use Gov2GO Pay. Subscribers can search the court records of interest using the name of a party involved in such cases and may select other criteria to narrow their search. The data retrieved from a completed search are accessible to users for three days. Note that there is usually a 24-hour delay between when a new case is entered into the case management system by the court and when it is available for search.
The Nebraska Judgment Case Search also provides information on both County and District Court cases. It allows users to find court records using general case information such as judgment date, court type, county, and case type. Search results are typically free on this platform, but individuals who view cases' details will pay a $1 fee. The fee is taken from users' Nebraska.gov accounts, implying that users must create accounts to use this service.
How Do I Find the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Court Records in Nebraska?
Citizens of Nebraska or all other interested persons can find records of court cases from the two appellate courts using the SCCALES case management system. This system requires a subscriber account through Nebraska.gov. Users can search SCCALES for cases filed in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in two ways. One is searching by appellate case number, and the other is to use the trial case number. Appellate case number search displays full case details, and a $1 fee is charged for each search from a user's Nebraska.gov account. Requestors can access document images in PDF format for records filed after September 26, 2011. Document images may not be available for cases entered before this date.
Generally, interested persons can obtain court records in Nebraska from the clerks of courthouses in the state. It is even possible to retrieve restricted and confidential documents from the office of the clerk of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court by submitting a completed Confidential Record form at the appropriate courthouse.
How to Conduct a Nebraska Court Record Search by Name
Individuals or organizations interested in searching for a Nebraska court record by name may use the Case Information e-service for multiple searches, and specifically the Justice One-Time Court Case Search for a single search by party name. This search service may be carried out for the price of $15 with a return of up to 30 records. However, only case information can be viewed as documents that are not made available for this type of court record search. The individual who wishes to view court documents through this service must be a Nebraska.gov subscriber.
How to Get Court Records Online for Free
Individuals seeking to get a Nebraska court record online for free may obtain it from the General Searches icon in the Nebraska Judicial Branch Website Case Information eService. However, only members of the public who have created a subscriber account at $100 per annum through Nebraska.gov may access this service. $1 is required to view the details of any case that was found in a generic search, after which access to images of documents is free of further fees.
Members of the public may also conduct searches using the judgements date and case number. These searches cost $1 and do not require any additional fees for accessing the images of documents.
Considered open to citizens of the United States, court records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:
- The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
- The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.
While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.
What Shows Up on Nebraska Judgment Records?
A Nebraska judgment record is created when a court of competent jurisdiction issues a criminal or civil case judgment, and the court clerk enters the judgment in the court docket.
Judgments are decisions on civil and criminal lawsuits filed in courts. Generally, a judgment concludes a typical case unless a litigant pursues an appeal or retrial. The clerk of courts is the record custodian of judgment records in Nebraska. The court official is also statutorily required to make the associated documents available to interested members of the public per the Nebraska Public Records Law.
Interested persons may obtain Nebraska judgment records from the clerk's office in the court that adjudicated the case of interest. Most courts have a standard case record request form, which the requester can use to submit the request. Generally, the information required on this request form is the case number and the names of the persons involved in the case.
The administrative staff will also require that the individual pay a service fee, including copying fees per page, before processing the request. Most courts accept cash, money orders, certified checks, and credit cards for these fees. While judgment records in Nebraska contain information that reflects the case type, there are similarities. A typical judgment record contains the litigants' and judge's names, the specific claims of the parties involved, and the issued judgment.
Are Nebraska Bankruptcy Records Public?
Bankruptcy records in Nebraska are accessible to members of the public because they are considered public records in accordance with the Nebraska Public Records Statutes. They consist of documents compiled, maintained and handled by the bankruptcy court. A debtor initiates bankruptcy by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. The debtor then submits the names and addresses of the creditors due, as well as the assets, income, and liabilities. The filing automatically stops creditors from pursuing additional measures to seek payment.
Debtors file for bankruptcy when they are unable to repay their creditors. Bankruptcy protects enterprises or individuals in financial distress and provides a way for firms and individuals to repay their creditors through reorganization or liquidation. Title 11 of the Bankruptcy Code governs these processes. Debtors often file one of three types of bankruptcy cases: chapter 7, chapter 11, and chapter 13.
Along with bankruptcy records, Nebraska Liens, contracts, writs, and related records are made public under the state public records law. To request a record, the inquirer may be required to provide the information needed to facilitate the record search and cover the cost of research and duplication, depending on the nature of the request.
How to Find Bankruptcy Records in Nebraska
Bankruptcy records Bankruptcy court cases are considered federal court cases in Nebraska and may be obtained by contacting the clerk's office of the bankruptcy court where the case was filed. An individual may also locate a bankruptcy record by searching the federal public online database known as PACER. Requests for bankruptcy records in Nebraska can be made via:
- Mail: Requests by mail require fees both to search and to obtain copies.
- Phone: Requests by phone require no search fees, but fees for copies are required.
- Email: Requests via email can be made by sending a request to NEBml_Documents@neb.uscourts.gov
Individuals seeking bankruptcy records need to possess pertinent information such as the name of the debtor or case, number of the case, the location where the case was filed, and date where the case was filed, amongst others. A fee of $0.10 per paper copy is required at the Clerk's public access terminals, with $0.50 copies per page.
Can You Look Up Court Cases in Nebraska?
The citizens of Nebraska and other members of the public can look up court cases in Nebraska. Information on any court case is available at the courthouse hearing them. Anyone who wishes to look up case information should first identify the case type and the court where it was filed. A clear picture of these will inform the next line of action. Alternatively, interested persons can use the JUSTICE one-time court case search system and Nebraska Judgment Case Search developed by the Nebraska Judicial Branch to look up cases of interest. Both platforms are online databases of cases filed at the Nebraska District and County Courts. They display useful public information on any court case of interest upon search. However, a subscriber account on Nebraska.gov is required for anyone to access both case management systems.
Nebraska Court Case Lookup Exemptions
In accordance with § 1-808 of the Supreme Court rules, the following information are exempt from public disclosure in Nebraska:
- Information which has been listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712.05. Some of these information includes personal information of students, medical records, trade secrets, academic work, scientific research work, identity of an alleged victim of sexual assault, security standards, plans and procedures, amongst others.
- Records and information which are not accessible to the public as a result of a case law, court rule, or state law. These records may include;
How to Find a Court Docket in Nebraska
A court clerk or judge will make a brief note of all the hearings and filings in a matter on a Nebraska court docket, which is an official record. The court issues a docket number, often known as a case number or tracking number, when a case is filed. A run-down of each document filed in the case, the date it was filed, and the court case number assigned to the document are listed in the docket along with other pertinent information including the names of the parties, the judge, and the attorneys of record. The docket system for the Nebraska Court keeps track of all cases that have been filed there, both pending and decided. A docket might be helpful as a first step in addition to offering relevant case information. Court dockets in Nebraska can be obtained from the court clerk where the case took place.
Types of Courts in Nebraska
The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the District Court, and County Courts are given judicial power by the Nebraska state constitution. The separate juvenile court and a workers' compensation court are also found in the state of Nebraska. Nebraska's county courts have a clear and limited scope of authority. All cases involving minor claims, adoption, probate, conservatorship, guardianship, and violations of local ordinances are handled by them. If there is sufficient proof to show probable cause and the defendant is charged with a crime during a preliminary hearing in a county court, the case will be heard in a district court. With very few exceptions, district courts handle all civil and criminal proceedings. They also occasionally serve as appellate tribunals, hearing appeals from various administrative bodies and county courts. The Nebraska appeals procedure mandates that all matters, excluding those involving a death sentence, a life term, or the legality of a statute, be appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Nebraska Supreme Court oversees the administration of the legal system and considers appeals. It has the power to preside over the initial court hearing a case.
Children who are dependent, errant, or neglected are dealt with in separate juvenile courts. In situations when the care, maintenance, or custody of juveniles is in dispute, the court also has jurisdiction. All aspects of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act are handled and carried out by the Workers' Compensation court. This court must be informed of any industrial incidents.
Civil vs Small Claims Courts in Nebraska: Understanding the Difference
Nebraska Small Claims Courts are a division of County Courts that resolve minor disputes involving amounts less than $3,900. The type of matters the court handles is limited to civil actions. These include disputes over damage to property, the sum of money owed, and those seeking the return of personal property. Legal procedures in Small Claims Court do not necessarily require that lawyers represent both plaintiffs and defendants. Parties to a small claims dispute must make their arguments before the judge. The Nebraska Judicial Branch outlines the cost involved in filing small claims cases. Persons who intend to file a small claims case must complete the claim form (CC 4:1) and submit it to the clerk of the County Court. No person can file more than two small claims cases within any week or more than ten in any calendar year. The defendants in small claims cases can request to transfer such matters from Small Claims Court and have them heard as regular civil cases at the County Court.