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Overview of the Nebraska Court System

As in many other states, Nebraska's court system is comprised of a multi-tiered structure with the state's Supreme Court at the top. Nebraska's county courts oversee misdemeanor cases, ordinance and traffic violations, probate issues, adoptions and preliminary hearings in felony cases. They also handle civil cases under $52,000 and juvenile issues except in three counties that have a separate juvenile court. County courts also have a small claims court, which handles civil cases such as property damage, money disputes and return of personal property.

The district courts have equal jurisdiction over issues heard in the county courts, but they usually restrict their caseloads to felony cases, civil cases over $52,000 and equity cases. The district courts also serve as an appellate court for cases heard in the county courts.

Six judges serving in three-judge panels comprise the Court of Appeals; a chief justice is chosen from among the six. All cases, with the exception of death penalty, life imprisonment and constitutionality issues, can be appealed to the appeals court. The three exceptions are appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

A chief justice appointed by the governor and six associate justices who are selected by a judicial nominating commission serve on the Supreme Court. Each associate justice represents a district. The court hears selected cases from the Court of Appeals, and it can be the court of original jurisdiction in special cases. The Supreme Court also handles attorney discipline and admission to the Nebraska State Bar Association.

The Workers’ Compensation Court administers and enforces provisions relating to the compensation of workers. Its seven judges are initially appointed by Nebraska’s governor; they continue to serve six-year terms if they are re-elected by the voters. Each case is heard by one judge, and appeals can be brought before a three-judge panel or to the Nebraska Court of Appeals.

Nebraska Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Nebraska attorney by location and by practice area. We have Nebraska attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Nebraska Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Nebraska legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

Whether you plan on leasing property to a tenant or are looking to rent property yourself, it is a good idea to sign a Residential Lease Agreement, available for free from LawInfo. This documents the conditions agreed to between the tenant and landlord, such as the amount of rent and when it is due. It clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

If you want to specify the individuals who will inherit your property when you die, it is essential to have a Last Will and Testament , which we also provide. If you die without making a will, state officials will decide how your assets will be distributed.

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. Nebraska’s financial POA allows you to specify the documents the POA can sign; you can choose whether the POA will take effect immediately or only if you become incapacitated. LawInfo provides POA documents at no cost for your convenience.

Starting a Nebraska Business

There are many things to consider when you start a new business, and the process can seem overwhelming. Nebraska offers several great resources to reduce your anxiety as you begin your entrepreneurial journey. The One-Stop Business Registration Information System walks you through the process step by step, and the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office offers in-depth, useful information and links to other free resources.

Nebraska Business Statistics

Nebraska has more than 164,000 small businesses that employ almost 51 percent of workers. The largest segment of the Nebraska workforce is involved in agriculture, with the state ranking fourth nationwide in agricultural production. The trade, transportation and utility industries employ the most non-farm workers.

Nebraska is headquarters to five Fortune 500 companies, including No. 5-ranked Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), Union Pacific (UNP) and ConAgra Foods (CAG).