§ 6-1906. Rules for electronic access to reports by the prosecuting attorney, juvenile's counsel, defense counsel, and the courts.

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

§ 6-1906. Rules for electronic access to reports by the prosecuting attorney, juvenile's counsel, defense counsel, and the courts.

   (A) Inspection of presentence reports under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-2261 and predisopositional reports of juveniles under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2,108(4) ("reports") by the prosecuting attorney, juvenile's counsel, and defense counsel shall be by electronic means as determined and developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation unless the trial court determines such access is not available.

   (B) All probation districts shall follow a standardized procedure and process for creating, storing, inspecting, and sharing reports. The Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation shall provide instruction on procedures so that each probation district is creating and sharing the same information in the same manner.

   (C) Once a court orders a report under § 29-2261 or § 43-281, and the report is completed for a criminal defendant or juvenile, the probation office shall convert the report and any evaluation(s) and/or examination(s) into a portable document format (PDF), bearing the file extension ".pdf" containing a computer-readable image of a document, capable of being viewed with a recent version of Adobe Reader or similar software.

   (D) The Probation Office shall upload the report into the probation case management system. Once the document has been uploaded, it will be available for the judge to view via the court case management system and via the court-authorized service provider judge portal.

   (E) Once the report is received electronically, the judge may then open electronic access to the prosecuting attorney, juvenile's counsel, and defense attorney entered on the case, as specified in the court's case management system, JUSTICE. Attorney access is via the Internet through the court-authorized service provider for E-Filing. A judge may provide access to the report to another judge who may be sentencing the same individual in a different court and may provide access to the report to any other attorney authorized by statute to have such access.

   (1) The report and its contents shall not be disclosed directly or indirectly by the attorneys or the trial judge absent a court order specifying to whom the report may be disclosed.

   (2) Attorneys shall not permit others to use their log-in or password information to view or inspect reports in the E-Filing portal.

   (3) Except as set forth in § 6-1906(E)(5), attorneys shall not duplicate reports by printing, copying, or saving them, or through screenshots, photographs, or other measures. Anyone determined to have duplicated a report by any means, or otherwise breached the confidentiality of a report, may be charged with contempt of court and/or referred to the Counsel for Discipline for further action.

   (4) The trial court shall determine when access to the report through the portal by the named attorneys shall cease.

   (5) An attorney may make one printed copy of a report or utilize one electronic copy of a report on a single electronic device by complying with all of the following conditions:

   (a) The attorney’s name and bar number must appear on each page of the printed document or electronic copy;

   (b) The printed copy or the electronic device must remain within the attorney’s possession and control at all times;

   (c) The juvenile’s counsel or defense counsel shall not show or display the report to any person other than his or her client who is the subject of the report;

   (d) The attorney shall not permit any person, including the client who is the subject of the report, to exercise possession or control of the report, or to copy any of its contents by any method;

   (e) The attorney shall not transmit any such copy by any means to any person who has not been authorized by the judge to receive a copy;

   (f) Immediately after sentence has been imposed in a criminal matter, the prosecuting attorney and defense counsel shall:

   (i) Deliver the printed copy to a probation officer present at sentencing or to the local probation office for destruction, or comply with any alternative instructions of the sentencing judge to accomplish destruction;

   (ii) Shall immediately and permanently delete the electronic copy.

   (g) Juvenile hearings.

   (i) The court shall provide access to reports and evaluations of the juvenile to the juvenile’s counsel and the prosecuting attorney prior to any hearing in which the report or evaluation will be relied upon;

   (ii) Juvenile counsel who maintain a printed or electronic copy of a report and/or evaluations to be used at a subsequent hearing are not in violation of this rule as long as the records are not distributed or confidentiality is not breached;

   (iii) If juvenile court jurisdiction is terminated, or the juvenile’s counsel withdraws or is no longer counsel, the juvenile’s counsel shall deliver any printed reports or evaluations to the probation office for destruction, or comply with any alternative instruction of the judge to accomplish such destruction, and shall permanently delete the electronic copy of any report and/or evaluation.

   (6) Substitute attorney compliance and reporting violations.

   (a) Any attorney who substitutes for the original attorney shall be responsible to comply with all of these conditions;

   (b) Any probation officer or probation staff member who becomes aware of any failure to comply with any of these conditions shall promptly notify the district Chief Probation Officer, who shall notify the judge; and

   (c) Any judge or attorney who becomes aware of any failure to comply with any of these conditions shall promptly take appropriate action, which may include reporting the same to the court and/or Counsel for Discipline.

   (F) Once the Probation Office completes a report, any addenda or supplements to the report shall be given to the Probation Office, even if personally received by the trial court, for inclusion in the report. If addenda or supplements are received by the court on the date of sentencing or disposition, then the court shall provide the original to the Probation Office as soon as practicable for inclusion in the report and may allow the prosecuting attorney and defense counsel to inspect a copy.

   (G) Appeals. If the conviction, adjudication, disposition, and/or sentence is appealed, transfer of the report to the appellate courts shall be electronic, in a manner prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation.  This procedure shall be deemed to be in compliance with the provisions of chapter 2 of these rules.

   (1) Attorney access is through the E-Filing portal. The sentencing or juvenile judge shall open electronic access to the State’s attorney, juvenile’s counsel, and defense counsel entered on the case. The provisions of § 6-1906(E) (1), (2), and (5) shall apply to reports viewed in the appellate courts except that after issuance of the mandate in the appeal, counsel shall proceed as provided in § 6-1906(E)(5)(f)(i) or (ii). Electronic access shall also be available in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals using the terminal provided.  

   (2) Whenever the mandate in the appeal has issued, access to the report through the portal by the named attorneys shall cease.

   (H) Access to the report by the appellate courts for cases on appeal shall be through the appellate courts' secure systems.

§ 6-1906 adopted June 29, 2016; § 6-1906 amended September 18, 2019.