District 4

District 4

District Four is comprised of Douglas County.

Horizontal Tabs

Court Clerks
Court Clerks
District Court
Clerk County Address Phone Fax Website

John Friend

Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Hall of Justice
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
402-444-7018 402-444-1757 Website

Doug Johnson (Administrator)

Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Hall of Justice
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
402-444-7004 Website
County Court
Clerk County Address Phone Fax

Ron Murtaugh

Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
402-444-5387 402-444-6890
Separate Juvenile Court
Clerk County Address Phone Fax Website

John Friend

Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Room 600
Omaha, Nebraska 68138
402-444-7121 Website

Raymond J. Curtis II (Administrator)

Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Room 600
Omaha, Nebraska 68138
402-444-7121 Website
Judges
Judges
District Court
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7007
Fax: (402) 444-8158
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7015
Fax: (402) 996-8152
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7817
Fax: (402) 996-8150
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-1997
Fax: (402) 996-8160
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7529
Fax: (402) 444-8156
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7089
Fax: (402) 996-8155
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7008
Fax: (402) 444-8154
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7011
Fax: (402) 996-8164
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7371
Fax: (402) 996-8165
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7755
Fax: (402) 444-8163
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7009
Fax: (402) 996-8161
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7012
Fax: (402) 996-8151
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7014
Fax: (402) 444-4550
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-6936
Fax: (402) 996-8010
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7086
Fax: (402) 996-8153
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5410
Fax: (402) 996-8162
County Court
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5430
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5434
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5435
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1819 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5433
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-1928
Fax: (402) 444-1928
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5439
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5432
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-6828
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5438
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7119
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-5411
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-4230
Fax: (402) 444-6890
Separate Juvenile Court
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street, Room 600
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7881
Fax: (402) 444-3961
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street, Room 600
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7888
Fax: (402) 444-3960
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street, Room 600
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-7889
Fax: (402) 444-3444
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street, Room 600
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-3305
Fax: (402) 996-8005
Douglas
1701 Farnam
Room 600
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-3616
Fax: (402) 996-8492
Douglas
1701 Farnam Street, Room 600
Omaha, NE 68183
Phone: (402) 444-6618
Fax: (402) 444-3573
Probation Offices
Probation Offices

Tim Sprakel
Chief Probation Officer
District 4A

 

 

 

 

Mary Visek
Chief Probation Officer
District 4J

 

Probation Office (Home Office)
District: 4
Chief Probation Officer:
1701 Farnam Street
Room 164
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
Fax: (402) 444-3336
Phone: (402) 444-7166
Juvenile Probation (Home Office)
District: 4
Chief Probation Officer:
319 S. 17th Street
4th Floor
Omaha, Nebraska 68102
Fax: (402) 444-4231
Phone: (402) 444-7835
Public Guardians
Public Guardians

Public Guardian districts are distinct from judicial and probation districts. Please find the Associate Public Guardian serving your area below

Office of Public Guardian Advisory Council

The Office of Public Guardian (OPG) is assisted by an Advisory Council, appointed by the Administrator of the Courts, to advise the Public Guardian on the administration of public guardianships and conservatorships.  Members of the Advisory Council, are comprised of individuals from a variety of disciplines, knowledgeable about guardianship and conservatorship, representative of the geographical and cultural diversity of the state, and reflect gender fairness.

Corey R. Steel

Corey R. Steel
Corey R. Steel

Corey R. Steel was appointed State Court Administrator on May 2, 2014, to oversee the administrative operations of the statewide court system. The State Court Administrator plans for statewide Judicial Branch needs, develops and promotes statewide administrative practices and procedures, oversees the operation of trial court programs and strategic initiatives, and serves as a liaison with other branches of government. Prior to his appointment he served in the capacity of Deputy Probation Administrator for Juvenile Services.  He played an active role in providing information to the Legislature regarding juvenile justice reform and coordination of state wide juvenile probation services.  Throughout his employment, Steel has been heavily engaged in the transformation of Probation’s Juvenile Justice System. Serving in a leadership capacity, he was and remains involved in the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI), the Cross-Over Youth Practice Model, and the Juvenile Information Sharing Project. In addition to holding a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska – Kearney and a Master’s in Business Management from Doane College, he also holds two certifications from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare and serves as an adjunct professor for Southeast Community College teaching Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice, and Sociology.

Dianne DeLair

Dianne DeLair
Dianne DeLair

Dianne DeLair is the senior staff attorney with Disability Rights Nebraska, the designated Protection and Advocacy system for the state of Nebraska. Ms. DeLair’s practice is devoted entirely to address abuse, neglect, and discrimination based on disability. She has represented individuals with disabilities for over 17 years in state and federal court. She has also represented individuals in county court guardianship matters, and administrative appeals.

Judge Todd Hutton

Judge Todd Hutton
Judge Todd Hutton

Representing the County Judge role is Judge Todd Hutton, Omaha. Judge Hutton represents the 2nd Judicial District of Cass, Otoe & Sarpy counties in Nebraska. Todd Hutton attended the University of Miami where he received his Bachelor of Science. He then went on to further his education at the University of Creighton School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. He was sworn in to be a Sarpy County Court Judge in 1998. Prior to becoming a judge, Todd Hutton worked as a lawyer in the Omaha area for 8 years. Judge Hutton serves on many committees and organizations in the community. He currently is co-chair of the Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships.

Russ Leavitt

Russ Leavitt
Russ Leavitt

Russ Leavitt is among the original 11 members of the Public Guardian Advisory Council selected by the Supreme Court Administrator to assist and support the Public Guardian in the early, arduous process of implementing the law by creating policies and procedures, and filtering the many logistical issues as the Public Guardian and his staff, worked toward and achieved operational ability. As one of the At-Large members of the Council he will be serving his second appointment. Russ also continues to serve on the Supreme Court Commission on Guardianship and Conservatorship, and serves on three subcommittees (Executive, Public Guardian and Protection of Vulnerable Adults) as part of this commission. Mr. Leavitt is a graduate of Creighton University, BSBA, with a Major in Accounting. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Finance and Technology and Co-owner at General Service Bureau and Early Out Services, Omaha NE.

Lisa Line

Lisa Line
Lisa Line

Lisa Line is a partner with Brodkey, Peebles, Belmont and Line in Omaha. Ms. Line’s primary areas of practice includes Probate, Estate, and Trust Planning and Administration; and Administrative Law, including Social Security Disability, Medicare and Medicaid. She assists families through estate planning and asset transfer issues; working with families during the probate or trust administration process; acts as a Court appointed Special Administrator, Guardian ad Litem, or Guardian/Conservator in probate, trust or guardianship/conservatorship actions; represents individuals in the legal process to determine entitlement for benefits; works with families of individuals with disabilities through the estate planning process, which includes both third party special needs trusts and self-settled special needs trusts; and advises Bank Trustees in the administration of special needs trusts, approval of expenditures and reporting to various agencies.

Julie Masters, PhD

Julie Masters, PhD
Julie Masters, PhD

Julie Masters, PhD, is professor and chair of the department of Gerontology at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She also is the Terry Haney Chair of Gerontology. Dr. Masters teaches courses on death and dying on the Omaha and Lincoln campuses. In addition, she oversees the activities of the department on the Omaha, Lincoln and online campuses. In addition to her research on end of life planning, Dr. Masters conducts research on healthy aging, caregiving and aging inmates.

Amanda Duffy Randall

Amanda Duffy Randall
Amanda Duffy Randall

Amanda Duffy Randall received her BA from Michigan State University, her MSW from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology. She is an associate professor in the School of Social Work, and teaches clinical research and practice courses in the graduate program. She is the past president of the Association of Social Work Boards, the North American regulatory organization for social work licensure, and chaired the Nebraska Board of Mental Health Practice. Dr. Randall currently serves on the board of the Office of Public Guardian of the Nebraska Supreme Court, and consults with Joint Base Command San Antonio, providing training on the Department of Defense regulations on transgender service and family members. Dr. Randall is a member of the Professional Transgender Resource Network, and on the Executive Board of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska.

Kevin Ruser

Kevin Ruser
Kevin Ruser

Kevin Ruser is the Director of Clinical Programs at the College of Law and teaches in the Civil Clinic and the Immigration Clinic. He also co-administers the Litigation Skills Program of Concentrated Study. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Clinical Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and the Clinical Legal Educators Association. Mr. Ruser began his role on the Advisory Council for the Office of Public Guardian in January 2016. He is currently a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Self-Represented Litigants Committee and has been a member of the Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court. He also serves on the boards of directors of various non-profit corporations.

Darla Schiefelbein

Darla Schiefelbein
Darla Schiefelbein

Darla Schiefelbein, Clerk Magistrate, Platte County Court represents an At Large Member of the Advisory Council. She graduated from Wayne State College in 1981, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services Counseling and Sociology. Ms. Schiefelbein began employment with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services from 1981-1994 working in several caseload areas: Food Stamps, Aid to Dependent Children, Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled and preparing home studies for Adoption and Foster Care. She was appointed as Clerk Magistrate of the Platte County Court in 1994 until the present. Ms. Schiefelbein supervises six staff in the court and is responsible for the court caseload and progression. She also audits Guardian/Conservator cases for Sarpy and Hall Counties. Ms. Schiefelbein was appointed to the Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships in 2012. In 2013 she was selected to be one of three Guardian/Conservator Specialists for the state; serving as a resource for county court staff in Nebraska. The goals of the specialists are to work to insure uniformity among the courts and to improve process and forms used for Guardianships and Conservatorships.

Beth Baxter

Beth Baxter
Beth Baxter

bio coming soon

Michelle J. Chaffee

Michelle J. Chaffee
Michelle J. Chaffee

 Previous to appointment as Public Guardian, Ms. Chaffee was Legal Counsel for the Health and Human Services Committee at the Nebraska Legislature. As Legal Counsel for the Health and Human Services Committee she was involved in multiple issues involving social services including long term care, Medicaid, health care, developmental disabilities, behavioral health, legal processes and procedures and licensure. She worked with a wide array of professionals including state, local and county officials, the judiciary, County attorneys, private attorneys, provider networks, facility administrators, caregivers, social service advocates, as well as the individuals who depend on Nebraska social services to provide care and support- children, juveniles, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly. As Legal Counsel she supported the Health and Human Services Committee and Chairs, Senators Tim Gay and Kathy Campbell, as they designed policies and programs to serve vulnerable citizens of Nebraska.

Marla Fischer-Lempke

Marla Fischer-Lempke
Marla Fischer-Lempke

The Deputy Public Guardian, Marla Fischer-Lempke, was hired in January 2015. Ms. Fischer-Lempke received her Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska, College of Law in 2004 and was licensed to practice law in Nebraska that same year. Since that time, she has held several positions and years of experience in advocating for and with people with disabilities and their families. Prior to coming to the Office of Public Guardian, Marla served as an Assistant Ombudsman with the Nebraska Office of Public Counsel where she addressed concerns of Nebraskans who experienced individual and systemic difficulties with programs administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Before Marla was with the Office of Public Counsel, she was the Executive Director for The Arc of Nebraska for five years. In this position, she provided support to thirteen local Arc chapters across Nebraska; provided advocacy in written and verbal testimony on proposed legislation within the Nebraska Unicameral in collaboration with other disability organizations; and provided information, ideas on problem solving, and action on statewide issues affecting the lives of people with developmental disabilities. In 2012, Marla joined the Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships. Marla was also the Public Information Attorney with Disability Rights Nebraska for four years, where she gained experience in developing informational materials for people with disabilities, family members, and interested citizens. She also provided several successful trainings on various topics pertinent to the lives of people with disabilities. She is experienced in the areas of individual and systems level advocacy and has successfully collaborated with other organizations and agencies on many occasions.

Office of Public Guardian Administrative Team

The OPG  Administrative Team works to provide all necessary support to the statewide team of Associate Public Guardians, they maintain educational programs for private guardians and conservators all over Nebraska, and they oversee internship and volunteer programs. The Administrative staff includes the Public Guardian as Director of the Office, a Deputy Director and a multidisciplinary personel including Legal Counsels, a Business Manager, an Education and Outreach Coordinator, and two Administrative Assistants.

Michelle J. Chaffee - Public Guardian

Michelle J. Chaffee - Public Guardian
Michelle J. Chaffee - Public Guardian

The Supreme Court Administrator is responsible for appointing a director of the OPG known as the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian shall be an attorney hired based on a broad knowledge of human development, intellectual disabilities, sociology, and psychology and shall have business acuity and experience in public education and volunteer recruitment.

The Supreme Court Administrator, with the confirmation by Nebraska Supreme Court, appointed Michelle J. Chaffee as Public Guardian in December 2014. Previous to appointment as Public Guardian, Ms. Chaffee was Legal Counsel for the Health and Human Services Committee at the Nebraska Legislature. As Legal Counsel for the Health and Human Services Committee she was involved in multiple issues involving social services including long term care, Medicaid, health care, developmental disabilities, behavioral health, legal processes and procedures and licensure. She worked with a wide array of professionals including state, local and county officials, the judiciary, County attorneys, private attorneys, provider networks, facility administrators, caregivers, social service advocates, as well as the individuals who depend on Nebraska social services to provide care and support- children, juveniles, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly. As Legal Counsel she supported the Health and Human Services Committee and Chairs, Senators Tim Gay and Kathy Campbell, as they designed policies and programs to serve vulnerable citizens of Nebraska.

Prior to the Legislature, Ms. Chaffee spent ten years in higher education administration. In addition to her experiences as Legal Counsel to the Health and Human Services Committee and in higher education administration, Ms. Chaffee practiced law and utilized her law degree in a variety of different state governmental agencies. She served in the Nebraska Legislature as Legislative Aide to Senators Gene Tyson and Mike Avery. During law school she interned for the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, in the Child Protection and Drug Enforcement Division. Additionally, as a Senior Law Clerk, she researched pre-trial diversion guidelines for the Office of Juvenile Services in the Nebraska Crime Commission. Upon graduation from UNL College of Law, Ms. Chaffee served as an attorney at Legal Aid, focusing on representing the needs of indigent individuals in civil court. As an attorney in private practice, she specialized as a Guardian ad Litem representing the needs of abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court.  Prior to attending law school, Ms. Chaffee served for a number of years as a 7-12th grade English and History teacher in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Texas.

                                                                                                                                                                     

Under the Act, the Public Guardian responsibilities include: to assume all duties assigned by the Administrator of the Courts; to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of guardian/conservator for appointed individuals; administer public guardianship/conservatorship [ii]; serve as staff to Council[iii]; with advice from the Advisory Council on Public Guardianship[iv], recommend rules  to the Supreme Court[v]; designate authority to act on her behalf to deputy and associates;[vi] and report to State Court Administrator, Chief Justice and Legislature on the implementation of the Act on or before January 1 each year[vii]. A summary of the duties completed in 2017 are included in this report.

 

14Id.

15Id.

16Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-4104.

17Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-4108) (1).

18Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-4110.

19Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-4104.

20Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-4111.

Marla Fischer-Lempke - Deputy Public Guardian

Marla Fischer-Lempke - Deputy Public Guardian
Marla Fischer-Lempke - Deputy Public Guardian

The Deputy Public Guardian, Marla Fischer-Lempke, was hired in January 2015. Ms. Fischer-Lempke received her Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska, College of Law in 2004 and was licensed to practice law in Nebraska that same year. Since that time, she has held several positions and years of experience in advocating for and with people with disabilities and their families. Prior to coming to the Office of Public Guardian, Marla served as an Assistant Ombudsman with the Nebraska Office of Public Counsel where she addressed concerns of Nebraskans who experienced individual and systemic difficulties with programs administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Before Marla was with the Office of Public Counsel, she was the Executive Director for The Arc of Nebraska for five years. In this position, she provided support to thirteen local Arc chapters across Nebraska; provided advocacy in written and verbal testimony on proposed legislation within the Nebraska Unicameral in collaboration with other disability organizations; and provided information, ideas on problem solving, and action on statewide issues affecting the lives of people with developmental disabilities. In 2012, Marla joined the Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships. Marla was also the Public Information Attorney with Disability Rights Nebraska for four years, where she gained experience in developing informational materials for people with disabilities, family members, and interested citizens. She also provided several successful trainings on various topics pertinent to the lives of people with disabilities. She is experienced in the areas of individual and systems level advocacy and has successfully collaborated with other organizations and agencies on many occasions.

24 Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-4104.

Tamra D'Andrea - Financial Operations Manager

Tamra D'Andrea - Financial Operations Manager
Tamra D'Andrea - Financial Operations Manager

tamra.dandrea@nebraska.gov

Tamra D’Andrea graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from College of Saint Mary at Lincoln in 2009. Tamra worked for the Nebraska Department of Corrections from 2005, holding multiple positions in Accounting, until being hired for the Office of Public Guardian in February of 2019 as the Financial Operations Manager. She volunteered as the Treasurer and Budget Manager for Paddock Lane Elementary Parent Teacher Organization in Beatrice, Nebraska from 2007 until 2013, and she is currently a Board Member and Secretary of the Beatrice Bowling Association. Prior to becoming an Accountant, Tamra was a Licensed Practical Nurse at Mosaic in Beatrice were she cared for 130 residents. Tamra is grateful for the opportunity to combine her passions of caring for individuals and Accounting.

Chelsea Richardson - Education and Outreach Coordinator

Chelsea Richardson - Education and Outreach Coordinator
Chelsea Richardson - Education and Outreach Coordinator

Chelsea joined the Office of Public Guardian in March of 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY in 2013, her Master’s degree in Philosophy from University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2015, and she is currently a PhD Candidate in Philosphy at UNL. She brings over 600 hours of university teaching experience to this position. In particular she has extensive experience in the field of Medical Ethics curriculum development. As an instructor at UNL she taught courses in Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is passionate about serving marginalized persons and creating a more just society for everyone.

Jill VanDusen - Administrative Assistant

Jill VanDusen - Administrative Assistant
Jill VanDusen - Administrative Assistant

Jill joined the Office of Public Guardian in August of 2017.  She came from the Lancaster County Court where she worked as a Records Clerk for four years.  Her work experience includes working for Lincoln Public Schools for eight years as a Paraeducator for special needs children.  Jill also worked seven years as an EMT in the ICU/Burn Unit at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  It has always been her passion to help people.  Jill is honored to support the Office of Public Guardian and all of the needs of the Associate Public Guardians.

Sarah Hererra - Administrative Assistant

Sarah Hererra - Administrative Assistant
Sarah Hererra - Administrative Assistant

Sarah Herrera joined the Office of Public Guardian in December 2018. Her clerical background, personal, and professional experiences with people who experience disabilities made this position a natural fit.

Office of Public Guardian Associate Public Guardians

Our hardworking and talented team of Associate Public Guardians (APGs) are deply committed to serving as guardians and conservators for vulnerable adults across Nebraska. They assist in expediting benefits to eligible individuals; conduct intake interviews, and provide counseling to a caseload of clients. In addition, APGs investigate the financial, psychological, familial and social histories of referred individuals; arranging for client services and housing; conducting home and facility visits and inspections; assuring care and treatment best-suited to the clients' interests; recommending action based on informed consent for medical, surgical and hospitalization; and all other responsibilities as required by the type of guardianship identified. They work with various private and public organizations for the purpose of developing local treatment resources.  Also, they are responsible for estate management and sound personal and financial management to ensure the most appropriate level and highest quality of care of person and property. Finally, they prepare comprehensive personal and financial court reports, maintain case records, ensure clients' bills are paid; attend court hearings as appropriate; and collect data and statistics as required.

Janelle Cantu - Associate Public Guardian, Southeast Area, Papillion/Falls City

Janelle Cantu - Associate Public Guardian, Southeast Area, Papillion/Falls City
Janelle Cantu - Associate Public Guardian, Southeast Area, Papillion/Falls City

Janelle Cantu
janelle.cantu@nebraska.gov
(402) 681-1929
7 Southeast; Papillion

Janelle Cantu graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2001 with a major in Sociology, and holds a certificate from Boston University’s Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research. Janelle was hired with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Children and Family Services as an Economic Services Worker where she managed caseloads with individual receiving food stamps, ADC, childcare, Medicaid and other economic services. Janelle was on the pilot team for the development of the new call center for AccessNebraska. She moved on to DHHS’ Division of Developmental Disabilities and worked as a services coordinator, and managed a caseload of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She helped to transition individuals from the Beatrice State Developmental Center into the community. She also worked with individuals that were court ordered, by a board of mental health petition (BMHP), into the Division’s custody. Janelle acted as a guardian for the individual’s under the BMHP. Janelle also worked with Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging as a services coordinator for individuals over 65 years of age. 

Jena Davenport - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln

Jena Davenport - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln
Jena Davenport - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln

Jena Davenport
jena.davenport@nebraska.gov
(531) 333-6236
5B East Central; Lincoln

Jena is a rural Nebraska native who began her career in human services working with aging adults in a memory care setting. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and Sociology/Anthropology. Jena went on to attend the University of Nebraska - Omaha and earned her Master's Degree in Social Work. She completed graduate clinical hours providing family therapy at the Munroe Meyer Institute and worked with grandparents raising their grandchildren at Nebraska Children's Home Society. Jena's professional experience includes working with clients experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, mental health diagnoses, and interpersonal violence. She worked in the Intellectual Disability field for 7+ years in multiple roles, most recently as a Developmental Disability Community Coordination Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Jena is honored to serve individuals through her role with the Office of Public Guardian.

Joe Johnson - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln

Joe Johnson - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln
Joe Johnson - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln

joe.johnson@nebraska.gov | 402-889-3272

Joe grew up in Southeast Nebraska and graduated from Peru State College in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. At this point he began a long career of service to communities in Nebraska.  From 2005-2007 he served as a Caseworker at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution. After leaving corrections, Joe worked at The Beatrice State Developmental Center as a Human Service Treatment Specialist. In 2009 he was promoted to Intermediate Care Facility and Developmental Disability Home Manager. He used this valuable experience to obtain a Residential Coordinator position at Developmental Services of Nebraska in Lincoln. Finally, in May of 2018, Joe joined the Office of Public Guardian where he continues to serve vulnerable adults in Lincoln and the surrounding area.

Kimmie Fox - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Kimmie Fox - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha
Kimmie Fox - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Kimmie Fox
kimmie.fox@nebraska.gov
(402) 405-6893
6E East Area; Omaha

Kimmie Fox was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. She received dual Masters’ in Social Gerontology and Legal Studies from the University of Nebraska College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the Nebraska College of Law, respectively. Kimmie interned for AARP Nebraska and the Nebraska Office of Public Guardian, while in undergraduate and graduate school. She took a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA, working with the Nebraska State Unit on Aging as a resource developer for senior populations. Kimmie also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Kimmie is excited to be given the opportunity to again work with the Office of Public Guardian. 

Alicia "Ali" Husted - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln

Alicia "Ali" Husted - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln
Alicia "Ali" Husted - Associate Public Guardian, EastCentral Area, Lincoln

Alicia Husted
alicia.husted@nebraska.gov
(402) 440-7740
5D East Central; Lincoln

Alicia Husted, also known as Ali, grew up in Cortland, NE, a small town south of Lincoln. She attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney and received a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology, with minors in health science and criminal justice. The majority of her experience has been within the field of developmental disabilities. Alicia started working in college at an Intermediate Care Facility for persons with Intellectual Disabilities. She then moved to providing community based services residentially and then as a Program Trainer for vocational services. Alicia moved back to the Lincoln area after college, briefly working in assisted living before taking a position with DHHS as a Developmental Disabilities service coordinator. She thoroughly enjoyed working in that position for the next 5 years until taking the position as Associate Public Guardian.  

Jana Krzyzanowski - Associate Public Guardian, West Central Area, North Platte

Jana Krzyzanowski - Associate Public Guardian, West Central Area, North Platte
Jana Krzyzanowski - Associate Public Guardian, West Central Area, North Platte

jana.krzyzanowski@nebraska.gov

308-325-0495

Jana grew up in various small towns in Nebraska and Colorado, eventually landing in North Platte, Nebraska, to attend Mid-Plains Community College.  While at MPCC, Jana took several computer classes that led to her job at a law firm in 1989 in the computer processing department.  Jana earned her legal assistant degree and eventually became the firm’s office manager.  She served as bookkeeper, IT, administrative assistant, and legal assistant for real estate, probate, and estate planning matters.  After having a family, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership at Fort Hays State University.  When Jana needed to volunteer as part of her last class at FHSU, she chose to volunteer as a Court Visitor for the Office of Public Guardian.  She completed the Court Visitor training and just before the end of her FHSU class, she learned that OPG needed an Associate Public Guardian in her area. Although she enjoyed her work at the law firm for 29 years, Jana felt that working as an APG would give her an opportunity to help people on a more personal level.  Jana is familiar with Nebraska’s legal system and understands how difficult it can be to try to navigate this system when you don’t understand it.  She graduated from FHSU in May, 2018 and started with the Office Public Guardian that same month. 

Lisa Ludden - Associate Public Guardian, Northeast Area, Norfolk

Lisa Ludden - Associate Public Guardian, Northeast Area, Norfolk
Lisa Ludden - Associate Public Guardian, Northeast Area, Norfolk

Lisa Ludden
lisa.ludden@nebraska.gov
(402) 992-5560
4 Northeast; Norfolk

Lisa Ludden was born and raised in Norfolk, Nebraska. She attended Wayne State College and received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. While attending her first couple of years of college, she worked as a Direct Support professional in a day settings and then as a residential manager for 5 homes. She then moved to working in long-term care facilities as a social worker and continued for the last 16 years. Lisa’s professional experience includes working with the elderly population, working with dementia, working with various health conditions, establishing in-home services, and working with people and their loved ones during difficult times. Lisa and her family live on a farm near Pierce, Nebraska. Lisa and her husband raise five children and enjoy attending all of their various activities, including coaching their volleyball and basketball teams. Lisa also enjoys raising their cattle, participating in their local 4-H program, and teaching at church. Lisa has loved the opportunity over the last 16 years of serving the elder generation and looks forward to being able to serve and advocate for vulnerable adults as an Associate Public Guardian. 

Amie Wergin - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Amie Wergin - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha
Amie Wergin - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Michelle Moore - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Kearney

Michelle Moore - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Kearney
Michelle Moore - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Kearney

Michelle Moore
michelle.moore@nebraska.gov
(308) 627-9768
3A Mid Central; Kearney

Michelle Moore was born and raised in Ogallala, Nebraska. She attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney and received her Bachelor of Arts in Education for Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She went on to teach preschool for several years, which eventually led up to teaching elementary school for 10 years in North Platte, Nebraska.  During that time, Michelle worked on her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College and received her degree in 2008.  Most recently, she’s been employed at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, working as a Child and Family Services Specialist in the Kearney, Nebraska office. Michelle was with Child Protective Services for 2 ½ years before moving over to Adult Protective Services for her final six months with the department. Michelle has been with the Office of Public Guardian since June of 2015, and is honored to work with Nebraska's vulnerable adults as an Associate Public Guardian.

Stacy Rotherham - Associate Public Guardian, Panhandle Area, Scottsbluff

Stacy Rotherham - Associate Public Guardian, Panhandle Area, Scottsbluff
Stacy Rotherham - Associate Public Guardian, Panhandle Area, Scottsbluff

Stacy Rotherham
stacy.rotherham@nebraska.gov
(308) 672-7433
1 Panhandle; Scottsbluff/Gering

Stacy Rotherham was born and raised in the Scottsbluff/Gering area. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado. Stacy has worked in long term care for over 12 years as the Director of Alzheimer’s Care, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and Certified Dementia Care Manager. She has loved being able to work and help those with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, and looks forward to being able to help other vulnerable adults as the Associate Public Guardian for the Panhandle. 

Annette Scarlett - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Hastings

Annette Scarlett - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Hastings
Annette Scarlett - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Hastings

Annette Scarlett
annette.scarlett@nebraska.gov
(308) 218-7388
3B Mid Central; Grand Island/Hastings

Annette Scarlett has a degree in Criminal Justice and Special Education. She has been working in the field of Developmental Disabilities since she was 16 years old and has worked at all levels, including the state level as a Services Coordinator for over 9 years. She also has managed a 6-bed nursing facility for those with intellectual disabilities and was a Services Coordinator for the Office on Aging for close to two years. Her latest experience was as an extended family home provider to a 24-year-old male with developmental disabilities. She is guardian and conservator for three others on a private basis, including a family member with developmental disabilities. Annette’s passion is advocating for the rights of others when they are no longer able to do so for themselves. 

Erin Wiesen - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha/David City

Erin Wiesen - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha/David City
Erin Wiesen - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha/David City

Erin Wiesen
erin.wiesen@nebraska.gov
(402) 350-0176
6D East; Omaha/David City

Erin Wiesen is a native Nebraskan, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Services from College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. She went on to receive a Master of Human Services from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, with a focus on Leadership and Management. Erin has spent her entire professional career engaged in case management and advocacy work; she has  extensive experience in areas of developmental disabilities, mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and employment readiness. Erin is honored to be a part of the Office of Public Guardian, where she can continue to serve vulnerable persons across Nebraska.

Thomas Holdt - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Thomas Holdt - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha
Thomas Holdt - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

thomas.holdt@nebraska.gov 

(402) 416-4503

Thomas received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska – Kearney in 2003. He has built a career out of service work and has a wealth of experience. Thomas is a veteran of the US Army.  He has extensive experience working in and managing assisted living facilities. From 2006-2008 he supervised a specialized assisted living unit for clients who were diagnosed with various types of conditions that involved dementia.  Thomas has also worked to implement care plans for individuals with intellectual disabilities who resided in an intensive care facility and group homes.  He joined the OPG in December of 2018 and is enthusiastic about helping vulnerable adults in Nebraska.

Jennifer Cunningham - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Jennifer Cunningham - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha
Jennifer Cunningham - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

jennifer.cunningham@nebraska.gov

(402)536-0315

Jennifer Cunningham joined the OPG in March of 2019. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Urban Studies from the University Nebraska - Omaha. She credits her 5 years of experience working at the non-profit senior citizen advocacy group, VIE (Volunteers Intervening for Equity) now known as VAS (Volunteers Assisting Seniors) for igniting her passion for working with vulnerable adults. While at VIE she served as the Executive Director and initially as a Client Resource Coordinator. She worked with a team of retiree volunteers helping those experiencing problems with Medicaid, Social Security, private insurance, and legal issues. She reviewed and located volunteer conservators for vulnerable adults, and she trained court appointed Guardians and Conservators. Jennifer has also worked as a Social Service Worker for the State of Nebraska determining eligibility for Federal and State programs. She interviewed concerned callers and decided on best responses for the Nebraska Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. This is in addition to her eight years as a Certified Nursing Assistant on a Memory Care unit providing assistance with Activities of Daily Living and safe mobility. Jennifer's career goal has always been to help people in need overcome barriers in order to have a better life. She is privileged to now serve those in need as an Associate Public Guardian.

Susan Mitchell - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Susan Mitchell - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha
Susan Mitchell - Associate Public Guardian, East Area, Omaha

Kelly Petersen - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Grand Island

Kelly Petersen - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Grand Island
Kelly Petersen - Associate Public Guardian, MidCentral Area, Grand Island

kelly.petersen@nebraska.gov 

(308) 227-8833

Kelly was born and raised in Columbus, Nebraska. After attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and receiving  her bachelor’s degree in social work, she served her community as hospice social worker and then as an activities director in a skilled nursing home. Prior to joining the Office of Public Guardian, Kelly spent seven years managing child abuse and neglect cases as a children and family services specialist for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.  Kelly joined the OPG in July of 2019. 

 

Jordan Wittenburg - Associate Public Guardian, Southeast Area, Lincoln

Jordan Wittenburg - Associate Public Guardian, Southeast Area, Lincoln
Jordan Wittenburg - Associate Public Guardian, Southeast Area, Lincoln

jordan.wittenburg@nebraska.gov

(402) 613-7343

Jordan joined the OPG in July of 2019. She was born and raised in Lincoln, NE, and attended Union College where she received bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and social work. Prior to joining the OPG, Jordan served as a social worker at the Lincoln Regional Center for 2 year. Before that, she was a social services specialist at a skilled nursing facility. She has significant experience working with adults with severe and persistent mental illness, adults and children with intellectual and physical disabilities, and elderly adults with dementia and other cognitive impairments. Additionally, Jordan brings over eight years of experience as a certified nursing assistant including six years as a medication aide in assisted living facilities, memory care units, and hospice/home health agencies.

Office of Public Guardian Legal Counsel

Legal Counsel responsibilities include:


Conferring with Associate Public Guardians, wards/protected persons, plaintiff attorneys, defendant attorneys, and other interested parties to exchange and prepare information on the facts and status of OPG guardianship and conservatorship cases. Implement legal analysis regarding tax, immigration, property, estate planning, trust, wills, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare issues to assist APG with determination of legal actions and thoughtful decision making for the wards' best interests. Researches legal precedents, case reports, and other legal documents to collect information for case preparation; prepares initial drafts of correspondence, motions, pleadings, orders, affidavits and other legal documents; represent the OPG in guardianship and conservatorship legal actions in court, as directed by the Deputy Director of the Office of Public Guardian. 

Sophia Alvarez, Legal Counsel - Lincoln & Greater Nebraska

Sophia Alvarez, Legal Counsel - Lincoln & Greater Nebraska
Sophia Alvarez, Legal Counsel - Lincoln & Greater Nebraska

Sophia Alvarez
sophia.alvarez@nebraska.gov
(402) 763-7898
Legal Counsel

Sophia grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas Woman's University in 1998. Sophia earned a Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 2001, and then worked as the Assistant Director for the UNL Upward Bound Math/Science Project. Sophia completed her JD at UNL - College of Law in 2006. During law school, Sophia clerked at Nebraska Disability Rights helping to draft the Law in Brief series and working on a grassroots voting rights campaign for people with disabilities. After graduating from the College of Law, Sophia worked at various private firms and Legal Aid in the areas of family law, juvenile law, criminal law, consumer law, Social Security law, and landlord/tenant law. Sophia's long held passion for public interest law has led her to this position with the Office of Public Guardian.

Jeff Heineman - Legal Counsel, East Area, Omaha

Jeff Heineman - Legal Counsel, East Area, Omaha
Jeff Heineman - Legal Counsel, East Area, Omaha

jeff.heineman@nebraska.gov  

402-681-1056​

Jeff Heineman has practiced law since 1987 and is currently licensed to practice in Nebraska and Missouri.  He graduated with his Juris Doctorate from Creighton University School of Law in 1987.  Prior to that, he received his BA in Communications from Nebraska Omaha in 1982.  Jeff has practiced in the Probate Court throughout his career, and he has participated in all aspects of guardianship proceedings.  He has not only served as guardian, conservator, and guardian ad litem, but Jeff has represented all sides of probate proceedings as legal counsel.  Also during his years in private practice, Jeff has undertaken work for the court as well as Adult Protective Services, the Veteran’s Administration, area hospitals, private individuals, and pro bono.  Jeff’s varied private practice included real estate, bankruptcy, probate, landlord/tenant, and small business.  Outside of work, Jeff participates in triathlons, cycling, swimming, and running.  He is also an assistant basketball coach at Skutt Catholic.

Problem-Solving Courts
Problem-Solving Courts

Douglas County Adult Drug Court
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha
402-599-2655

Douglas County Family Recovery Drug Court
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha
402-444-7889

Douglas County Veterans Treatment Court
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha
402-444-4210

Douglas County Young Adult Court
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha
402-444-4210