September 30, 2021, 4:00 p.m. Application Deadline Set for District Court Judge Vacancies, Fourth Judicial District

September 30, 2021, 4:00 p.m. Application Deadline Set for District Court Judge Vacancies, Fourth Judicial District

Monday, September 13, 2021

LINCOLN -- According to Supreme Court Justice John R. Freudenberg, the Judicial Nominating Commission for District Judge in the 4th Judicial District (consisting of Douglas County) will hold a public hearing in the Douglas County District Court, Courtroom #501, 1701 Farnam Street, Omaha, Nebraska, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 21, 2021.  At the hearing, the commission will receive information on the qualifications of candidates to fill the vacancies in the office of district judge due to the retirement of Judge Gregory M. Schatz, effective July, 1, 2021, and the retirement of Judge Thomas A. Otepka, effective September 10, 2021.  The primary place of office for the judicial vacancies is Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska.   

Individuals interested in applying for the vacancy can obtain a Judicial Vacancy Application package from the Nebraska Judicial Branch Web site at  Completed applications may be submitted electronically or by hard copy and must be returned no later than 4:00 p.m., Thursday, September 30, 2021.   

Any member of the public wishing to present testimony for the commission’s consideration may do so one of two ways:

  1. Written testimony provided in advance:  Those wishing to present written testimony or other pertinent information may do so by mailing the information to the Commission Chair no later than October 14, 2021, at the following address: Justice Freudenberg, Nebraska Supreme Court, PO Box 98910, Lincoln, NE 68509 or email it to    
  2. Oral testimony offered during the hearing:  Those wishing to present oral testimony may do so by attending the public hearing in courtroom #501 of the Douglas County District Court, Omaha, Nebraska.  All persons attending should be prepared for staggered admittance and restricted seating in order to maintain appropriate social distancing and comply with any directed health measures that may be in effect. 

The Nebraska Supreme Court continues to carefully monitor the evolving circumstances presented by the spread of the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, including monitoring updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local Directed Health Measures from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.  As of the date of this press release, this judicial nominating commission public hearing will be held in person.  Should circumstances change due to COVID-19, all commission members and applicants will participate in this hearing via WebEx and the public hearing will be available for viewing on NET at the following link: Nebraska Educational Television's Live & On Demand: State Government website.

A listing of the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission can be found on the Nebraska Judicial Branch Web site at

For special accommodations relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act, please call (402) 471-3730.  For persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, please call the Nebraska Relay System, 7-1-1. AA/EOE.