Celebration of Trial Court Week in Nebraska Announced

Celebration of Trial Court Week in Nebraska Announced

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Nebraska Supreme Court recognizes the third week in March as Trial Court Week, a time set aside for Nebraskans to celebrate the important role that local courts and their personnel play in providing access to the civil, criminal, and juvenile justice systems.

Chief Justice Michael Heavican announced the celebration during a proclamation signing ceremony in the Supreme Court Chamber on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. The ceremony kicks off Trial Court celebrations occurring throughout the Judicial Branch during the week of March 20-24, 2023.

County Court Clerk Magistrate Laura Tobiassen of Kearney County and Clerk of the District Court Troy Hawk of Lancaster County attended the ceremony to highlight the critical role of Nebraska's court system and the dedicated court clerks, staff, and judges who serve the Nebraska state trial courts.

Immediately after presenting Tobiassen and Hawk with proclamations, the Chief Justice thanked each for their wonderful presentations saying, "You outlined what makes us so proud of all of our trial court staff and what goes on in our trial courts. You truly do make access to justice as available as you possibly can for all of Nebraska's citizens." He concluded by saying, "Thanks to all of our trial court staff, all around the state of Nebraska."

The role of trial court staff is to support all functions of courts, from case management to assisting court users. State Court Administrator Corey Steel outlined the variety of work that is needed in each court, saying, "From records clerks to bailiffs, courtroom clerks to court reporting personnel, Clerk Magistrates to Clerks of the District Court, you handle high-level administrative functions to ensure cases progress in a timely manner, answer questions related to court process and procedures, handle tens of thousands of legal documents, create timely, accurate, verbatim records and transcripts and you navigate all of this with professionalism and grace."

Over 270,000 cases were filed in Nebraska trial courts last fiscal year. Each case requires varying levels of assistance to court users, case management, processing of legal documents, and data entry. Trial court staff focus on the essential processes and administrative tasks of the trial courts so that judges can focus on resolving cases allowing for open and fair access to the courts.

Speaking directly to court staff throughout the state, Deputy Administrator for Court Services Amy Prenda noted, "The positions you hold in the trial courts have evolved over the last 40-plus years. You now are managing much more complex cases with complicated issues. You're required to be familiar and comfortable with technology. You must understand and apply much more nuanced processes and procedures, and you must have the aptitude and the ability to communicate and interact with more diverse court users. It isn't easy doing what you do every day, striving to ensure the fair, impartial, and independent administration of justice so that every court user who comes to your counter or appears in your courtroom is treated with respect dignity, and fairness. I thank you."

Watch: Proclamation signing ceremony

Photo: State Court Administrator Corey Steel, Clerk of the District Court Troy Hawk, Chief Justice Michael Heavican, County Court Clerk Magistrate Laura Tobiassen, Deputy Administrator for Court Services Amy Prenda