Court provisions could be revised

Senators advanced a bill May 9 that would revise state and county court provisions.

Norfolk Sen. Mike Flood introduced LB669, a bill that originally contained provisions for sealing juvenile records. A Judiciary Committee amendment, adopted 28-0, replaced the bill’s original provisions with those from four other court-related bills.

Provisions from LB451, originally introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford, would:
• allow for a divorce decree to be entered without a hearing if certain requirements are met;
• expand the state Supreme Court’s options for funding sources to compensate court interpreters;
• provide for clerks and staff of the district and country courts to assist one another on court services;
• create a new position of Judicial Hearing Officer and allow the court to appoint officers as needed;
• provide courts greater scheduling flexibility; and
• eliminate the requirement that divisions of a county court be located outside the county seat and that certain cases be filed with the county court clerk in the county seat.

Also introduced by Ashford, provisions from LB339 would authorize a court to order that a juvenile be placed directly with the state Department of Health and Human Services to obtain a pre-adjudication evaluation. The provisions also would clarify the responsibilities of the county and the state for covering costs incurred during a juvenile’s detention period prior to adjudication.

Provisions from LB349, originally introduced by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, would provide various deadlines for filing a jury demand in civil cases depending on the role of the litigant doing the filing.

Also introduced by Lautenbaugh, provisions from LB476 would clarify the authority for delivery of service by a commercial courier.

Ashford said the bills were suggested by the state Supreme Court and other state offices.

The amended bill advanced from general file on a 28-0 vote.

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