Uniform County Court Rules of Practice and Procedure (Ch. 6, Art. 14 of the Official/Codified Supreme Court Rules)
Rules of the County Court of the Third Judicial District
(November 15, 2000)
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL; INDIGENT PARTIES; STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
Applicability. These rules shall apply in every criminal proceeding in which the laws of the United States or the laws of the State of Nebraska establish a right to be represented by counsel. All parties who have a right to be represented by an attorney, including juveniles, shall have their eligibility for appointment of an attorney at public expense determined in conformance with these rules.
Definition of Terms. The following definitions shall be applied in connection with these rules:
Judicial Advisement of the Right to Counsel. Whenever a party initially appears before the court without an attorney in any criminal proceeding where the right to counsel attaches, the judge shall advise the party, or if the party is a juvenile or is under guardianship, the party and a parent or legal guardian, where appropriate, that:
Waiver of the Right to Counsel. If the court determines that a party has knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily decided to waive the right to be represented by an attorney in the proceeding, the party shall be asked to sign a written waiver of that right, and the judge shall sign a certificate that states that the party effectively waived that right. If the party refuses to sign the waiver, the judge shall note that fact on the certificate. The waiver, if applicable, and the certificate shall be executed on forms consistent with Appendix A and Appendix B of these Rules and shall be filed with the papers in the case.
Affidavit of Indigency. A party who desires to proceed as an indigent with an attorney appointed by the court shall complete an affidavit under oath concerning his or her financial resources on a form consistent with Appendix C of these Rules. The affidavit shall require the party to list all financial resources relevant to a determination of indigency. The party shall be advised of the penalties for perjury.
Determination of Indigency. If the court finds that the party has not effectively waived his or her right to counsel, and the party has not arranged to obtain counsel, the court shall receive the affidavit of indigency and may question the party under oath. After reviewing the information contained in the affidavit and, if applicable, the party's testimony, the court shall determine whether the party is indigent based on § 2(3)(a), indigent based on § 2(3)(b), or not indigent. The court first shall determine whether a party is indigent based on § 2(3)(a). If the court finds that a party is not indigent under § 2(3)(a), the court shall next determine whether the party is indigent under § 2(3)(b). The court shall record its findings, including its comparison of the party's anticipated cost of counsel and available funds when applicable, on a form consistent with Appendix B of this Rule, that is filed with the papers in the case.
Assignment of Counsel/Notice of Assignment. If the court finds that a party is indigent, the court shall appoint an attorney to provide representation for the party. The Clerk of the Court shall promptly complete and transmit a notice of assignment of counsel form consistent with Appendix B of this Rule and shall file a copy in the case file. That form shall include the name of the attorney assigned to represent the party or shall note that the office of the public defender was appointed.
Payment of Cost of Counsel. While determined to be indigent, a party may not be ordered, required, or solicited to make any payment toward the cost of counsel.
Inadmissibility of Information Obtained From a Party. No information provided by a party pursuant to this rule may be used in any criminal or civil proceeding against the party except:
The intent of this rule is to create uniform standards and procedures for the determination of when a party is "indigent" and thus entitled to be represented by court-appointed counsel in criminal cases where the right to counsel applies.
Douglas County Court Rules
When attempting the following remedies/procedures listed below, the forms provided by the Clerk of the Court, and only those forms, may be used:
These rules shall be effective, on an experimental basis, beginning February 2, 2009, and shall apply in the 5th Judicial District, county court judicial proceedings. During the experimental period, the Nebraska Supreme Court Public Information Officer will serve as the Media Coordinator for the 5th Judicial District County Court.
In the discretion of the judge presiding, courtroom proceedings may be broadcast, both by audio and video, and may be televised, recorded, or photographed (hereafter collectively referred to as “broadcast”) under the following conditions:
(1) On an interim basis, these rules regarding expanded media coverage apply only to proceedings over which Judge Roland is presiding,[i] taking place within the 12th Judicial District of the State of Nebraska.
(2) Only members of the media as defined below shall be permitted to broadcast, record, televise, photograph, or otherwise broadcast those proceedings set out below.
Media is defined as a representative of a radio or television station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission or a reporter/photographer employed by a recognized news outlet.
(3) The trial judge overseeing the proceeding sought to be broadcast, recorded, or photographed retains sole and complete discretion to terminate the broadcast, recording, or photography (without explanation or warning) at any time during such proceeding.
(4) Cameras and sound equipment of a quality and type approved by the judge presiding in the case will be fixed in place in the courtroom with field of view of the camera and field of range of microphones being approved by the judge presiding over the proceedings. Other than the cameras identified herein, no other camera will be permitted in the courtroom, including a still camera, cell phone camera, or any other digital recording device equipped to take photographs or video recordings. The images produced by the camera in the courtroom should be of such a nature that still images may be retrieved.
(5) The audio broadcast shall include only the statements made in open court and shall not include communications between counsel, between counsel and their clients, or bench conferences between counsel and the court.
(6) Under no circumstances shall images of, or statements from, jurors be broadcast, recorded, televised, photographed, or otherwise broadcast.
(7) Jury selection will not be broadcast.
(8) The following cases will not be broadcast: matters involving grand juries, juveniles (persons under 19 years old),[ii] child custody, parenting time, sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic abuse, child abuse, protection orders, and any other cases that the trial judge may determine.
(9) The testimony of certain witnesses may not be broadcast. Those witnesses are as follows: persons under age 19,[iii] a person who claims to be a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault who will be called upon to testify about the abuse or assault, or a confidential informant whose testimony is about the matter upon which the person informed. Any witness may make a request to prevent that person’s testimony from being broadcast by making application to the judge presiding over the proceeding indicating the reason the witness does not want his or her testimony broadcast.
(10) Upon application of any party or counsel, the court may, in its sole and complete discretion (and without further explanation), determine to not broadcast courtroom proceedings or terminate the broadcast of courtroom proceedings.
(11) Upon application at least 14 days in advance of a scheduled hearing that may be broadcast, the court may, in its sole and complete discretion (and without further explanation), permit other types of broadcast or recording equipment in the courtroom.
The images and sound produced from the courtroom will be available to any broadcast media licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and any print media published in the State of Nebraska on a pool basis.
The overriding principle shall be the guarantee of a fair trial to the litigants. Criteria may change from time to time based on factors which the court has not yet
[i] Typically, these would be proceedings in Cheyenne, Deuel, Garden, and Kimball Counties within the 12th Judicial District of the State of Nebraska.
[ii] This includes juvenile court proceedings, adoptions, guardianship/conservatorship proceedings in which a juvenile is the ward or protected party, and portions of proceedings in which a juvenile is a witness or victim and has been called to the stand to testify.
[iii] If the witness or victim is under the age of 19 years old, but has been emancipated by a prior order of a court of competent jurisdiction in this, or any other State, then such witness or victim will not be considered a juvenile for purposes of this exclusionary rule. Such a witness or victim may qualify for “exclusion” under this rule for another stated reason (i.e., emancipated minor as victim of sexual abuse or assault).
Approved August 28, 2013.