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InterLinc: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA and Lancaster County
Your Government at a Glance
Judicial System

Lancaster County Court

Judges are appointed by the Governor and every six years citizens vote on their retention. The court handles misdemeanor cases, traffic violations, municipal ordinance violations and conducts preliminary hearings in felony cases. County Court also has jurisdiction in certain civil cases, and handles all probate matters, guardianships, conservatorship and adoption proceedings, as well as issues involving eminent domain.

Small Claims Court is also a part of County Court. This court has jurisdiction in disputes up to $2,400. Parties must represent themselves. Claim forms may be obtained from the County Court Civil Office.

District Court

Judges are appointed by the Governor. Every six years, citizens vote on their retention. District Courts have jurisdiction throughout Lancaster County and are courts of appeal for County Court. Cases under their jurisdiction may include felonies, contempt of court actions for delinquent child support, personnel injuries or damages, dissolutions of marriage, child custody matters, cases involving mortgages, tax liens, and other similar matters.

Clerk of the District Court

The Clerk of the District Court is elected to a four-year term. The office keeps the District and Juvenile Court records. It monitors payment of child support and reports any delinquencies for possible action. The Clerk also serves as record-keeper of the County Mental Health Board.

Juvenile Court

A non-jury court; judges hear cases concerning juveniles. If an incident occurs prior to a youth's 18th birthday and the court takes jurisdiction, the youth can remain under the jurisdiction of the court to their 19th birthday. Judges are appointed by the Governor. Voter retention is at the first general election after three years in office and every six years thereafter.

County Court Adult Probation -- 15th Probation District

This office is part of the Nebraska State Probation System. Salaries and travel expenses are paid by the state. Office space and expenses are borne by the county. Staff provides court services to County Court on misdemeanor cases including pre-sentence investigations and probation supervision.

District Court Adult Probation -- 6th Probation District

The District Court Probation Office is part of the Nebraska State Probation system. Salaries and travel expenses are paid by the state. Office space and expenses are borne by the County. The responsibilities of this office include pre-sentence investigations for District Court felony cases and probation supervision.

Pre-Trial Diversion

The program is designed to remove selected adult felony offenders from the criminal justice system. If an offender successfully completes this program, no criminal charges are filed. To be eligible, individuals must have no prior felony, no more than two misdemeanor convictions and be area residents. Persons charged with offenses of violence are not eligible.


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