Nebraska’s County Courts are the limited jurisdiction trial courts for the state. Because these courts handle local issues, they see more traffic than District Courts. Some counties (Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy Counties) have their Juvenile Courts separated, but in other counties, County Court handles all juvenile issues along with small claims, probate, conservatorship, guardianship, adoption, and local ordinance violations. County Courts see a lot of traffic offenses. These courts also conduct preliminary hearings for felony crimes. County Courts have concurrent jurisdiction with District Courts for civil cases of $53,000 or less and some divorce matters along with misdemeanors and traffic infractions.
Other types of cases resolved by County Court are tort cases, real property, and small claims up to $3,600. They have exclusive rights to probate/estate cases, domestic relations, and adoptions.
Except for the counties where Juvenile Court is separated, clerk magistrates perform all administrative functions for the County Court. These public servants perform limited judicial responsibilities such as accepting pleas in minor cases like traffic violations and misdemeanors, setting bail, and other judicial services like performing weddings.
The Nebraska Judicial Branch website has detailed information on the County Courts, the judges, the clerks, and administrators. County Courts are spread over the twelve judicial districts, and the website lists each County Court and the presiding judge. Additionally, the site contains court schedules, contact information for all of the judicial staff at County Court and the technology options available to patrons to e-file or pay traffic tickets online.
On average, County Courts see a total of 330,000 cases per year. The most significant number of them (135,375) are for traffic violations. Then 79,056 are for civil suits, 16,464 of them are felonies, 6,101 are probate cases, 3,898 are for small claims, 2,002 are for guardianships, and 985 are for adoptions.