Court Services Division

Court Services Division

The Court Services Division provides management support for the courts. This division is responsible for communicating Supreme Court administrative policy and providing procedural standards and publications for court operations. Intense focus is placed on areas related to working with and training court staff and interpreters; developing and maintaining court forms and procedure manuals; providing support to the statewide child support referees; and providing support for special interest issues like access to justice, self-represented litigants, and mediation.

The Court Services Division also serves as a liaison to trial court-related associations and committees.

Access to Justice/Access to Justice Specialist

The Access to Justice Specialist is a professional staff position serving as the primary resource for coordinating and implementing the programs and initiatives of the Access to Justice Commission. As a liaison between the Commission and its Standing Committees/Consortium, this position involves a wide range of high level executive and administrative support tasks and actively works with other community and national stakeholders in the access to justice arena.

This position reports directly to the Access to Justice Commission Co-Chairs, Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Stacy and Liz Neeley, Executive Director of the Nebraska State Bar Association. The Access to Justice Specialist is also under the auspices of the Administrative Office of Courts and Probation and teams with Administrators and Staff to meet the ultimate goal of equal access to justice, and to the courts, for all Nebraskans.

Language Access Program

The Language Access Program recruits, trains, and certifies court interpreters and coordinates the appointment of qualified interpreters across the state to facilitate the communication of limited English proficient (LEP) participants in the Nebraska Judicial Branch. The Language Access Program provides high quality, efficient and cost effective language access across the state of Nebraska, regardless of the language spoken, to LEP court and probation users, and provides education and support to judges, court staff, and probation personnel. Programming is guided by the Language Access Committee.

Office of Dispute Resolution

The mission of the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) is to enhance and advance the use of mediation and restorative justice in all 93 counties by partnering with six regional mediation centers. These ODR-approved centers provide a variety of services including: Parenting Act mediation, available on a sliding-fee scale, to assist parents in developing a parenting plan; facilitating child welfare and juvenile justice conferences to address issues involving the child’s care/placement and services to the family; and restorative justice practices where offenders fulfill their obligation to make things right as much as possible, allow victims an opportunity to have their voice heard in a safe environment, and together determine the outcome. 

The ODR also approves:

  • Parenting Act mediators who have met statutory and policy requirements including mediator training, continuing education, and apprenticeship standards; who agree to adhere to the Nebraska Standards of Practice and Ethics for Family Mediators; who demonstrate and maintain an active status as a Parenting Act mediator; and who have passed a background check. The list of approved Parenting Act mediators is searchable by name, judicial district, mediation center affiliation, and county.
  • Providers of Basic and Level 2 Parent Education classes. These classes provide information and practical tips to help parents with the impact of divorce or separation on children, and provide information about mediation, parenting plans, and the legal process. Providers charge their own fees and fees may vary. For the Basic course, both classroom (i.e., in person) and online options are available.

Research Attorney

The Research Attorney provides legal research and writing support for the district court judges, including the drafting of orders and other legal memoranda. If current workload allows, the Research Attorney also provides limited legal research for AOCP committees and staff.

Statewide Child Support Referees

Child support referees hear cases and make recommendations to the district court judges on the establishment, modification, enforcement, and collection of child support, as well as on paternity establishments. There are two child support referees in Douglas County, one in Lancaster County, and two with statewide jurisdiction.

Only the two statewide child support referees are Nebraska Judicial Branch employees. As judicial officers, the statewide child support referees work independently and directly with the district court judges in the counties where they are assigned. At this time, one statewide child support referees serves: Sarpy, Saunders, Dodge, Washington, Dakota, Cass, Gage, Saline, and Otoe counties. The second statewide child support referee serves: Hall, Adams, Buffalo, Madison, Platte, Lincoln, and Dawson counties.

Trial Court Services

Trial Court Services supports the Nebraska Supreme Court in meeting its general administrative and supervisory authority as set out by the Nebraska State Constitution, art. V, sec. 1. Specifically, Trial Court Services provides direct support and information to the county, district and juvenile courts, which includes resources for courts, which are not specific to operations or technology. 

Trial Court Services also provides court services information to the public. This includes personally assisting individuals with finding answers to questions related to court services they are unable to find on the website or through local offices (nsc.courtservices@nebraska.gov), and developing and maintaining content for the website.

Prenda

Amy Prenda
Deputy State Court Administrator for Court Services
Room 1213 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE  68509
(402) 471-2921