Rule 13. Emergency Modified Court Operations.

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Rule 13. Emergency Modified Court Operations.

   13.1. This rule sets out the procedures governing emergency modified court operations in the District Court, County Court, and Separate Juvenile Court for the Fourth Judicial District (collectively “the Courts”).

   13.2. The presiding judge of the Fourth Judicial District Court shall be responsible for convening a standing committee for the Fourth Judicial District. This Emergency Modified Court Operations Committee shall be responsible for planning and implementing emergency modified court operations.

   13.3. The Emergency Modified Court Operations Committee shall include a District Judge, a County Judge, and a Separate Juvenile Court Judge (collectively the “Judicial Representatives”). The Committee shall also include representatives from the following stakeholders: District 4A and 4J Probation Office; Douglas County Attorney’s Office; Douglas County Public Defender’s Office; City of Omaha Legal Department; Douglas County Department of Corrections; Douglas County Youth Center; Clerk of the District Court; Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; Douglas County Health Department; and Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission. The Judicial Representatives shall be responsible for coordinating and facilitating communication among the members of the Emergency Modified Court Operations Committee.

   13.4. In circumstances significantly threatening the ability of the Courts to conduct routine court proceedings safely and efficiently, the Emergency Modified Court Operations Committee’s Judicial Representatives shall vote as to whether to implement emergency modified court operations. If a majority of the Judicial Representatives votes in favor of emergency modified operations, emergency modified court operations shall go into effect. The Judicial Representatives, in coordination with the Nebraska Supreme Court, shall enter appropriate administrative orders detailing the emergency modified operations. Any administrative order implementing emergency modified court procedures shall identify the date by which the order shall expire if not previously vacated, extended, or amended.

   13.5. The following mission essential functions shall be addressed in any administrative order implementing emergency modified court procedures:

   a. County Court: The operation of the courtroom at Douglas County Corrections and the transport of prisoners to and therefrom. Also, hearings as to any of the following: protection orders, evictions, emergency guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, change of pleas, bond settings, arraignments, and preliminary hearings.

   b. Separate Juvenile Court: Hearings as to any of the following: adoptions, contested protective custody proceedings, contested adjudications or terminations of parental rights, contested motions to revoke probation, contested motions to commit to the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, and contested ex parte motions.

   c. District Court: Hearings as to any of the following: bond reviews, change of pleas, sentencings, protection orders, motions for ex parte orders or temporary allowances, and motions for temporary restraining orders and temporary injunctions.

   13.6. The Committee will notify the Nebraska Supreme Court Administrative Services Division and the Omaha Police Department of the emergency modified court operations status. The Committee shall also notify the public of the emergency modified court operations status by:

   a. Preparing and issuing a press release to local media outlets regarding emergency operations;

   b. Placing notices on websites and social media accounts controlled by members of the Committee; and

   c. Posting notices at the entrances to the Douglas County Courthouse.

Approved March 16, 2022.