Rules of Practice and Procedure in the Separate Juvenile Courts of Douglas County, Nebraska
(Effective January 20, 2000; amended September 24, 2014.)
3.1 Within fifteen (15) days of the filing of a petition, the county attorney shall make available to opposing counsel and to any and all guardians ad litem, all documents in the county attorney’s possession which support the filing of such petition. In turn, all counsel have a corresponding obligation to take proper steps to request and obtain such documents from the county attorney’s office. The county attorney shall timely supplement, as additional documents become available.
3.2 Within twenty-one (21) days of the detention hearing or arraignment, whichever comes first, of a Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a), (3)(b), or (3)(c) case, the court shall hold a pretrial conference.
3.4 At least one (1) day prior to the pretrial conference, all counsel, including parties appearing pro se, shall sign and file a proposed pretrial schedule with the court, delivering a copy of the same to the bailiff, indicating whether the matter is contested or can be disposed of by a plea agreement.
c. Whether agreement has been reached by the parties regarding deadlines for conducting discovery; the filing of pretrial motions; the exchange of witness lists; and the identification of exhibits, indicating the proposed deadline for each;
e. Stipulations regarding the advisability/necessity of certain evaluations to be performed prior to trial, and identifying with respect to each: the nature of each evaluation; the person(s) upon whom it is to be performed; what arrangements have been made or need to be made in order to obtain such evaluation; and the amount of time needed to complete the evaluation and for the parties to obtain the written report of the same;
a. Each courtroom will reserve at least two (2) one-half hours per week during which the court will hear contested motions, which do not involve the testimony of witnesses, including but not limited to motions to dismiss; motions under Rule 12; motions supported by affidavit; motions relating to discovery; and motions for continuance; as well as any other motions or matters which the court, in its discretion, may choose to hear.
c. Prior to calendaring the motion, as designated by the court in Rule 4.1 above, the attorney for the party seeking the hearing on a contested motion shall consult with the court’s bailiff to obtain a specific hearing time for the motion.
d. In the event of vacation, extended illness, or prolonged absence of the judge to whom the case is assigned, the attorney seeking a hearing upon a motion shall contact the Juvenile Court Administrator’s office to make arrangements regarding a hearing on the motion.
a. The hearing on a probable cause finding granting immediate custody of a juvenile in a delinquency or status offense case shall be heard within twenty-four (24) hours of the juvenile’s being taken into custody, or on the next judicial day.
b. The hearing on an ex parte order granting immediate temporary custody in a child abuse/neglect case filed under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a) shall be heard within ten (10) calendar days of the date of the entry of such order by the court.
c. All other ex parte motions, excluding those described in Rule 4.3(a) or (b) above, shall be heard within ten (10) calendar days after the ex parte order granting said ex parte motion was signed.
5.1 All documents, including, but not limited to, predisposition reports, case plans, progress/probation reports, and guardian ad litem reports shall be delivered to all counsel and pro se parties at least five (5) judicial days prior to the hearing in which the documents are to be offered.
a. Written notice of all hearings shall advise all counsel (or parties, if unrepresented by counsel) of the date, time, courtroom, or location at which the hearing will be held upon the particular motion or pleading involved.
b. Written notice of all hearings, excluding child support hearings in the juvenile court (which are governed by Rule 9 below), shall be mailed or personally delivered to all other counsel in the case (or to a party, if such party is not represented by counsel) at least three (3) full judicial days prior to the hearing upon the motion.
c. Service of notice of hearing may be faxed to any and all attorneys involved in an action if that attorney(s) has consented to receive service via fax transmission. An attorney who consents to this mode of service and to accept notice of hearing via fax shall so indicate by including his or her fax number with the attorney’s signature, name, address, and telephone number on a document filed in an action.
d. Service of notice of hearing may be emailed to any and all attorneys involved in an action if that attorney(s) has consented to receive service via email. An attorney who consents to this mode of service and to accept notice of hearing via email shall so indicate by including his or her email address with the attorney’s name, address, and telephone number on a document filed in an action.
8.2 Service of all other notices or requests, pleadings, and briefs should be made so as to allow opposing counsel a reasonable time for response or preparation, or as governed by applicable statutes or Supreme Court Rules, or in accordance with such timeline as the court may direct.
8.3 All pleadings, motions, notices, and briefs, excluding the initial petition and the initial ex parte motion for custody of the juvenile, shall contain a certificate of service certifying the manner and date upon which service of such pleading, motion, notice, or brief was made upon all attorneys of record (and parties, if unrepresented by counsel). The certificate of service must be signed by the attorney or attorney’s representative (or by the party, if unrepresented by counsel) who filed the pleading, motion, notice, or brief.
8.4 The use of first-class mail for service of pleadings, motions, notices, and briefs shall constitute sufficient compliance with this Rule, except as may be otherwise required by statute or rule of the Nebraska Supreme Court, or as the juvenile court may direct.
10.1 Court files may be checked out by attorneys licensed to practice law in Nebraska or by an attorney's law clerk or other duly-authorized representative. Proper identification shall be furnished upon request by the Clerk, and the person checking out the court file shall sign a receipt for the file upon which the Clerk shall note or stamp the date and time of check-out.
10.2 A court file may be checked out for a period not to exceed one judicial day and may be checked out for purposes of making copies of the same, or to present the file to the court or to the parties in connection with any matter. Files shall be returned to the Clerk with all documents in the exact same order and condition as when they were checked out.
10.3 In no event shall a juvenile court file be returned to the Clerk later than three (3) judicial days prior to any juvenile court hearing or proceeding in the case to which the file/files relate. It is the responsibility of each attorney or firm checking out the court file to be aware of the date of the next hearing or trial in the case.
10.4 All other persons, including individuals appearing pro se, may review the court file in the presence of the Clerk and, for a fee, obtain copies of pleadings contained within the court file. Copy fees shall be waived for indigent pro se litigants.
10.5 Violation or failure to comply with these Rules governing court files will result in cancellation by the Clerk of the privilege to check out court files by said attorney or by such other person. The Clerk will maintain a list of persons whose privilege to check out court files has been canceled. A judge of the juvenile court may reinstate such privilege upon good cause shown.
11.1 The court will appoint counsel for any juvenile or for any parent determined indigent by the court, and for any other person whenever appointment of counsel would be appropriate in the exercisie of the court's discretion. The court will also appoint a guardian ad litem for a juvenile as required under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-272 and as required by any other section of the Nebraska Juvenile Code.
11.2 Attorneys who are willing to serve as court-appointed counsel in juvenile court proceedings shall notify the Juvenile Court Administrator of that fact, providing the administrator with their contact information. The Juvenile Court Administrator shall maintain a current list of all attorneys who are willing to accept appointments in juvenile court and shall provide the same to all judges, and shall keep the list updated. Any attorney who wishes to be removed from the list may do so upon request to the Juvenile Court Administrator. Said list may be examined by the public upon request.
11.3 Appointments shall be made by the court using the list described in Rule 11.2 above. The court is entitled to rely upon its knowledge of an attorney’s qualifications, skill level, and experience in appointing an attorney whom the court deems suitable to serve on a particular case.
12.1 Generally, court costs ordered paid in Juvenile Court shall be paid to the Clerk of the District Court for Douglas County. Payor shall be able to provide docket and page or case number of the case for appropriate credit.
12.3 Where counsel for a parent has reason to believe that his or her client is incarcerated or otherwise detained, counsel shall timely contact the Juvenile Court Administrator's office to make suitable arrangements for the transportation of the parent to the hearing, which may necessitate the filing of a motion by counsel and the obtaining of an order for transport.
12.4 The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services shall notify, in writing, the court and all parties within one (1) judicial day of any emergency change in the child's placement and shall notify the court and all parties, in writing, seven (7) days prior to any non-emergency change in placement.
12.5 Companion Cases. The county attorney shall, at the time of filing each petition, note or stamp upon the front-page of the petition, the case title and docket number of all other open companion cases involving the juvenile, and the name of the judge to whom each companion case has been assigned.
A “companion case” as defined by this Rule includes: (1) all other open dockets involving the juvenile, whether delinquency, status offense, abuse-neglect, or dependency, filed under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247; and (2) those in which multiple juveniles are charged, in separate petitions, with delinquent acts arising out of the same set of facts.
12.6 Request for Transcript by Non-party. Where a non-party seeks the transcript of any juvenile court hearing pursuant to Neb. Ct. R. § 1-203, such non-party shall (1) file an appropriate pleading with the juvenile court in accordance with Rule 6 of these Rules, which pleading shall contain the request for the transcript of each requested hearing, and (2) secure a hearing date from the bailiff regarding the request.
12.7 Such non-party shall perfect service of his or her pleading in accordance with Rule 8 of these Rules. Where a request for transcript of hearing is made in a case where the court’s jurisdiction has been terminated, notice and service under Rule 8 shall be given by the non-party requestor to all persons or entities who were parties to the proceeding on the date of the hearing for which the transcript is being requested.
12.9 Payment of all costs for the preparation of the transcript shall be governed by Neb. Ct. R. § 1-203(B).