Message to the Judicial Branch Community

Message to the Judicial Branch Community

Monday, March 30, 2020

Thank you for taking COVID-19 seriously; thank you for the sacrifices you are making during this difficult time; and, thank you for your hard work in keeping the courts and Judicial Branch services open and available to the public. 

The Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation is here to do as much as we possibly can to assist you during this trying time.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are in need of any type of assistance, big or small.

And, I am sure that I don’t need to remind you, but I will: Whether you are working from home or coming into the office, please remember to follow the safeguards of social distancing, frequent hand-washing, covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying at home and notifying your supervisor if you feel unwell.

Thank you for your dedication to the Judicial Branch and to the citizens of the State of Nebraska in these difficult times.


Below is the message that Deb Minardi and I sent to each of you on March 20, 2020:

TO:          Members of the Nebraska Judicial Branch
FROM:   Corey R. Steel, Court Administrator Deb Minardi, Probation Administrator
DATE:    March 20, 2020
RE:         Emergency Preparedness Updates

First, thank you for your strength and calm during these past few weeks. Each of us has had many positive conversations with clerks, officers, staff, leadership, and judges across the state and greatly appreciate your patience and confidence.

Together we will serve our court and probation clients, and when this has passed, we will have learned many valuable lessons from all we have experienced.

Now more than ever our employees of the Judicial Branch are being asked to step up to ensure that even in an emergency no person is deprived of their constitutional right to access the courts and its services. The tremendous efforts being put into action have not gone unnoticed. It is obvious this commitment has been taken very seriously. In this time of uncertainty, we are all challenged to think and operate differently.

We understand that tough decisions are being made quickly concerning topics that none of us have prior experience in handling. The contributions of each and every employee are essential as we navigate through this new challenge together. We are working hard to provide everyone with the guidance necessary to weather this current storm. We do not have all of the answers and will make mistakes along the way, but we will learn together and continue to move forward.

Our Judicial Branch staff remain central to our mission-essential functions. There is nothing more important to us at the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation than to make sure we manage this situation as effectively and sensitively as possible. The Supreme Court has granted approval to expand human resource venues to accomplish our mission while ensuring the health and safety of the public and, in particular, our Judicial Branch employees. We anticipate additional procedures will be rolled out in the near future.

Recognizing and honoring the uniqueness of jurisdictions to create plans that best meet the needs of individual judicial districts, local courts, probation offices, and communities is core. To that end, we very much appreciate the hard work you have done with your county officials to maintain accessibility to courts and court services.

The AOCP is doing everything possible to keep the lines of communication open, remain responsive, and to provide information and guidance as quickly as possible. Please remember that while social media can provide all of us a way to stay connected, posts from or about work can easily be misinterpreted and can shed a negative light on the Judicial Branch and should be avoided.

We encourage you to frequent the Judicial Branch website for the latest information. The Administrative Office remains committed to support and assist jurisdictions and its employees.

Our sincere thanks to each of you. Again, please let us know if we can assist you in any way.

When you have a moment, please read: Chief Justice Heavican: Our State Courts Remain Open  

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