Probable cause suggested for taking custody of juveniles

The Judiciary Committee heard testimony March 6 on a bill that would require law enforcement to have probable cause before taking temporary custody of juveniles without a warrant.

LB320, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill, would allow peace officers to take juveniles into custody without a warrant only if they have probable cause to believe that the juvenile is at imminent risk of serious physical or emotional harm.

McGill said Nebraska children are removed from their homes at one of the highest rates in the nation. Children often are removed due to poverty conditions and not neglect, she said, adding that removal from their home can be more traumatic for children than neglect.

No testimony was given and the committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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