Nebraska

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect proceedings, and must be informed of this right.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Right to counsel

Some children in abuse/neglect cases have a right to counsel, while others have a right to an attorney-GAL.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - youth transitioning out of foster care

Nebraska law provides a right to appointed counsel for a ward of the state who is aging out of foster care and still needs services.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel upon request for a minor seeking to bypass the parental consent requirement for abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Contempt in Family Court

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Nebraska Supreme Court found a federal constitutional right to counsel in civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent respondents have a right to counsel in civil commitment cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Forfeiture

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Nebraska authorizes appointment of counsel in civil forfeiture cases

04/19/2016

A new law authorizes appointment of counsel for a person (other than the defendant) claiming an interest in property subject to forfeiture.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

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Consumer Debt

Legislation

Legislation (dead): debt collection proceedings

06/21/2017

This bill would have, among other things, required appointment of counsel for contempt proceedings related to debt collection.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon The NCCRC submitted testimony in support of the bill.

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Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a child in a private custody dispute.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Divorce

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel - divorce

A court must appoint a GAL or attorney or both in divorce proceedings where a spouse is mentally ill.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Domestic Violence - Alleged Victim

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

In DV cases, the state must provide some emergency legal counseling to victims.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for the proposed ward in various kinds of guardianship proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Paternity - Defendant/Respondent

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Nebraska Supreme Court found a state/federal constitutional right to counsel in state-initiated paternity proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent respondents have a right to counsel in sex offender commitment cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Some children have a right to counsel in termination cases, and all children have a right to a guardian ad litem who is an attorney.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents in termination of parental rights cases, and they must be informed of this right.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

The Nebraska Supreme Court found a due process right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases, but its holding is questionable.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Nebraska children have a right to counsel in truancy cases (which are treated as a status offense).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

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