Nebraska Courts Overview
It helps to understand how the Nebraska state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. The Nebraska trial court system consists of District Courts, County Courts, Juvenile Courts, and Workers' Compensation Court.
District Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but usually only hear cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. County Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases. Juvenile Courts exist in some areas of the state and exercise limited jurisdiction over juvenile matters. The Workers' Compensation Court has limited jurisdiction over claims based on the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act.
If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Nebraska courts by county.
Nebraska District CourtsDistrict Courts have general jurisdiction over all types of cases but usually handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.
Criminal cases heard by District Courts include felonies and lesser-included offenses.
Civil cases heard by District Courts include general civil claims for more than $53,000. The financial limit on civil case jurisdiction is reviewed every fifth year and may vary over time.
District Courts also hear most domestic relations cases and appeals from administrative agency decisions. District Courts share some jurisdiction over certain types of domestic relations cases with County Courts.
Nebraska County CourtsCounty Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases, including probate, juvenile, domestic relations, and general civil claims.
Criminal cases heard by County Courts include misdemeanors, infractions, and most violations of city and village ordinances. County Courts also hold preliminary hearings in felony cases.
Civil cases heard by County Courts include general civil claims involving $53,000 or less. The financial limit on civil case jurisdiction is reviewed every fifth year and may vary over time. Each County Court has a Small Claims division for most general civil claims within certain financial limits.
County Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over probate matters, unless a will contest is transferred to District Court at the request of one of the parties. County Courts have jurisdiction over most guardianships, conservatorships, and adoptions; and over juvenile matters unless a separate Juvenile Court exists in the county.
County Courts share jurisdiction with District Courts for certain types of cases, including some domestic relations cases.
Nebraska Juvenile CourtsJuvenile Courts have jurisdiction over all juvenile matters and may handle some domestic relations cases that concern the care, custody, or support for minor children.
In counties without Juvenile Courts, juvenile matters are heard by a County Court.
Nebraska currently has three separate Juvenile Courts, in Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy Counties.
Nebraska Workers' Compensation CourtThe Workers' Compensation Court has statewide jurisdiction over cases related to workplace accidents and illnesses.
Workers' Compensation Court judges travel throughout the State to handle claims made under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act.
Nebraska Problem-Solving CourtsMany Nebraska counties and judicial districts have Problem-Solving Court divisions that can set up treatment in lieu of incarceration for some offenders with substance abuse problems.
Problem-Solving Courts in Nebraska include Adult Drug Courts, Juvenile Drug Courts, Family Drug Courts, a Young Adult Drug Court, and a DUI/Drug Treatment Court.
Where to Find Court Cases in Nebraska
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Nebraska court.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|Civil||District Courts||County Courts||Juvenile Courts|
|General Civil - Unlimited|
|General Civil - Limited|
|Foreclosures and Liens|
|Real Estate Title and Boundary|
|Landlord / Tenant|
|Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders|
|Administrative Agency Appeals|
|Criminal||District Courts||County Courts||Juvenile Courts|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||District Courts||County Courts||Juvenile Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Juvenile||District Courts||County Courts||Juvenile Courts|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||District Courts||County Courts||Juvenile Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Probate||District Courts||County Courts||Juvenile Courts|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|