NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Judiciary Committee

Welcome
January 4th, 2017

The Judiciary Committee is responsible for processing legislation involving the following subject areas:

  • courts; judges; procedures; Rules of Evidence; judicial districts; jurisdiction; juvenile code
  • criminal code; crimes and punishments; capital punishment
  • guardianships and conservatorships
  • probate
  • community corrections
  • law enforcement; State Patrol
  • criminal procedure; crime victim’s reparations
  • civil procedure; civil law
  • probation; parole
  • real property; conveyances; liens; condemnation; eminent domain; landlords and tenants
  • marriage and divorce; child custody
  • child support; parenting time
  • liens; liability; tort claims; civil rights; arbitration; obscenity; abortion
  • immigration
  • handgun permits; possession and use of guns

During session, the Judiciary Committee meets on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in Room 1113 on the 1st floor of the Capitol.

To submit a letter to be included in the official hearing record, it must be:

1) Emailed to the official committee email address – jud@leg.ne.gov
OR
Hand delivered to Room 1103, State Capitol

2) MUST be received by the deadline of 12:00 noon on the last work day before the hearing

3) And it must contain the following:
– Bill #
– Position on the bill (Pro, Con or Neutral)
– Name
– Address
– A request that the letter be made part of the record

WELCOME TO THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OF THE NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The following is information to assist you in presenting your testimony to the committee at a public hearing, please note there are changes for this 2021 session

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

  • Senator Steve Lathrop, Chair……………….…Omaha / District 12
  • Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks, V Chair..…Lincoln / District 28
  • Senator Tom Brandt..……………………..….Plymouth / District 32
  • Senator Wendy DeBoer…………………….Bennington/ District 10
  • Senator Suzanne Geist……………………………Lincoln/ District 25
  • Senator Terrell McKinney…………………….….Omaha/ District 11
  • Senator Adam Morfeld……………………………Lincoln/ District 46
  • Senator Julie Slama………………………………….…..Peru/ District 1

AGENDA:
The order in which the committee will take up bills will be as posted on the Agenda but will be subject to change at the discretion of the chairperson.

TESTIMONY – 2 Options:
1) Drop Off Prior to Hearing – 4 Requirements must be met:
1. Submission of written testimony will only be accepted the day of the hearing between 8:30am and 9:30am in Judiciary Hearing Room 1113
2. Individuals must present their written testimony in person and fill out a pink testifier sheet
3. The testifier must submit at least 12 copies
4. The testimony must be a written statement that when read aloud is no longer than 3-5 min. in length
*This testimony will be included on the Committee Statement if all of these criteria are met

2) In-Person Testimony:
As always, persons attending a public hearing will have an opportunity to give verbal testimony.
Fill out a yellow testifier sheet only if you are actually testifying before the committee – Please PRINT legibly. Hand the yellow testifier sheet to the page as you come forward to testify.
*Anyone verbally testifying will be included on the Committee Statement

There is also a separate sign-in sheet available at the table for people who are present at the hearing who wish to express their support or opposition to a bill, but do not wish to testify. This sheet will be included as an exhibit in the official hearing record. Sign this sheet only if you are not testifying,

PROCEDURE:
The introducer of the bill will make an opening statement, followed by testimony from proponents, opponents and neutral testimony. Closings are reserved for the introducing senator only.

When you come forward to testify, hand your yellow testifier sheet to the page. Please state your first and last name and SPELL THEM FOR THE RECORD before proceeding with your testimony.

We use a light system with a time limit for all testifiers other than the introducer of the bill. The green light will come on when you start, the yellow light is your one-minute warning, and the red light means to wrap up your final thought and stop. The committee members may also ask you questions at the conclusion of your testimony.

SUGGESTIONS:
– If you have a prepared statement, it is helpful to make 12 copies for the committee and staff. Written materials will be passed out by the pages and recorded as exhibits
– Use of props is not allowed as they cannot be made part of the official record.
– If you are following other testifiers, please listen to their comments and try not to be repetitive.
– Applause or demonstrations of any sort are not permitted.
– TURN OFF OR COMPLETELY SILENCE ALL CELL PHONES

Covid-19 precautions in place including:
-Please wear a mask over both nose & mouth
-Seats will be socially distanced thus reducing the number of persons in the hearing room at a time. 
-A page will disinfect the chair/table after each testifier

For the upcoming Judiciary Committee Interim Study Hearings listed below, there will be Covid-19 precautions in place including:
-Everyone will be required to wear a mask over both their nose & mouth
-One door will be designated for entering the hearing room, and one door for exiting
-Seats will be socially distanced thus reducing the number of persons in the hearing room at a time. Overflow will be accommodated outside the hearing room and persons allowed into the hearing room when others exit.
-A page will disinfect the microphone after each testifier

October 15th at 9am in Room 1525 of the State Capitol:
Combined Interim Study Hearings on Police/Community Relations including –
LR 383 (Lathrop) Examine issues within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee
LR 417 (M Hansen) Examine law enforcement jurisdictions in the state and the existing policies on the use of force by law enforcement officers
LR 377 (Pansing Brooks) Study to complete a comprehensive review of the reform of policing in Nebraska

October 22nd in Room 1525 of the State Capitol:
Interim Study Hearings on Corrections Issues:
9am –
Combined Hearing on:
1. LR 384 (Lathrop) Examine issues related to Nebraska’s correctional system
2. LR 457 (McCollister) Examine the Nebraska parole and pardons processes

2:30pm –
Committee members Q&A with Director Scott Frakes, Nebraska Dept. of Correctional Services

With the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and James Scurlock in Nebraska prompting a critical dialogue about policing and racial equity in our communities, the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature will hold a pair of listening forums to hear from members of the public.

The forums will allow the public to speak directly to lawmakers tasked with oversight of our state’s justice system. People are encouraged to share their experiences, concerns and ideas about change.

“Nebraskans have had the opportunity to express themselves through public demonstrations over the past two weeks,” said State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, Judiciary Committee chairman. “Now we are providing an opportunity to appeal directly to elected officials.”

The Omaha session will take place Monday, June 8 at the Scott Conference Center in Aksarben Village. The Lincoln session will be held Tuesday, June 9 at NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Station. Both events will be live-streamed on NET and broadcast live on NET World. See below for specific event details.

At the request of the venues and out of respect for public health, masks are required at both events. Space at the venues will be limited in order to maintain social distancing in alignment with the governor’s directed health measures. Due to ongoing renovations at the Capitol and limited space for social distancing in our hearing rooms, we were unable to hold these forums in the Capitol. Because the Lincoln venue is particularly small, anyone who is able to attend the Omaha event is encouraged to do so.

Depending on crowd sizes, individuals may also be asked to limit their speaking time so the committee can hear from as many people as possible. In the interest of public health and safety, people are asked to comply with all city and state health and emergency measures, both inside and outside the venues.

OMAHA EVENT

Monday, June 8, 9 a.m.

Scott Conference Center

6450 Pine St.

* Note: While this venue is larger than the Lincoln venue, we might still have an overflow crowd. After speaking, attendees are asked to consider making room for anyone still waiting outside. Parking is available in Lot 9 directly south of the venue.

LINCOLN EVENT

Tuesday, June 9, 9 a.m.

NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Headquarters

1800 N. 33rd St.

* Note: Enter through east doors. Due to venue size, only a limited number of individuals will be allowed into the studio at a time.

LIVE-STREAM

A link to the live-stream for each event will be posted on the NET website, netnebraska.org, and can also be accessed before the event by visiting nebraskalegislature.gov and clicking on the “Live Video Streaming” link.

Senator Steve Lathrop

Nebraska Legislature, District 12
(402) 471-2623
Committee Members
  • Sen. Steve Lathrop, Chairperson
  • Sen. Tom Brandt
  • Sen. Wendy DeBoer
  • Sen. Suzanne Geist
  • Sen. Terrell McKinney
  • Sen. Adam Morfeld
  • Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks
  • Sen. Julie Slama
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