Gov. Ricketts Appoints Joel B. Jay to the County Court of the Eleventh Judicial District

Jay, 47, is currently the Deuel County Attorney.  In his role as Deuel County Attorney, Jay prosecutes or defends all suits, applications, or motions in which the county is a party or interested.  He also is the sole practitioner at Jay Law Office, where he handles cases in a variety of areas, including criminal, civil, and real estate transaction cases, and serves as the City Attorney for the City of Chappell. Governor’s Press Release.  




Increased judicial tampering penalties advanced

Lawmakers gave first-round approval April 16 to a bill that would increase penalties for witness and jury tampering. Unicameral Update



Gov. Ricketts Appoints David J. Partsch to the County Court of the Second Judicial District

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts appointed David J. Partsch of Nebraska City to the County Court of the Second Judicial District.

Partsch, 44, is currently the Otoe County Attorney.  In his role, Partsch prosecutes all felony criminal offenses occurring in Otoe County.  He also serves as City Attorney for Nebraska City and is the Presiding Commissioner on the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations.

Before his role as Otoe County Attorney, Partsch was a partner at the Hoch, Funke, & Partsch law firm in Nebraska City.

Partsch holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Creighton University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Partsch is very active in his community, serving on multiple boards of directors including those of CHI Health St. Mary’s, Rotary Club of Nebraska City, and Partners for Otoe County.  He has also been active in various community groups like the Arbor Day Committee, Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair Board as well as previously being a TeamMates Mentor and youth basketball coach.

The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge John F. Steinheider.

The primary place of office for the judicial vacancy will be Nebraska City, Otoe County.



Regulations for use of jailhouse informants clears first round

Unicameral Update 4.4.19

A bill that would require increased transparency in the use of jailhouse informants was advanced from general file April 4.

Read more of this post


Automatic sealing of juvenile records approved

A bill that will tighten the process of sealing juvenile adjudication records in Nebraska passed March 21. Read More. 

<a href='' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks'>Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks</a>
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks

LB354, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, requires that any juvenile’s record be sealed automatically upon satisfactory completion of diversion, mediation, probation, supervision or other treatment program.




Juvenile judge boots 3 attorneys from public courtroom while child’s fate is in limbo

Todd Cooper | Omaha World Herald

March 20, 2019

The first attorney removed was the former prosecutor on the child abandonment case. He was there to observe why a judge was holding a hearing when the case was under appeal.

Then the mother’s attorney got the boot. Followed by the father’s lawyer.

Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich wanted all three gone — arguing that none of them had standing to participate in that day’s hearing. Read More. 

Nebraska prison population hits new high; ‘I hope it’s an anomaly,’ corrections chief says

Here’s a record Nebraska leaders didn’t want to set: a new high for prison overcrowding.

On Monday, state prisons held 5,515 inmates, the most in history and a surprising landmark in light of several efforts to reduce overcrowding.

“I hope it’s an anomaly,” State Corrections Director Scott Frakes told a panel of state lawmakers.

It means that state prisons are holding 2,140 more inmates than they were designed to handle — about two prisons’ worth — and are at 163 percent of capacity, the second-worst overcrowding in the nation. It also casts even more doubt on whether the state can fend off a civil rights lawsuit from the ACLU of Nebraska and meet a July 2020 deadline to reduce overcrowding to 140 percent of capacity or else start paroling hundreds of prisoners. Read More.




Skutt grad writes Notre Dame thesis on human trafficking in Nebraska

Mary Ninneman has seen the faces of human trafficking.

After her freshman year at Notre Dame, Ninneman, now a senior history and political science student, traveled to Thailand through Air Force ROTC to work with that nation’s military in rural areas. But that’s not what affected her most: It was the orphanage filled with kids, teenagers, toddlers and babies who were trafficking victims or were at risk of being trafficked.

Ninneman, a graduate of Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, said that even though she didn’t speak their language, she understood their smiles.

“You look in the face of a child, and it’s the picture of innocence,” Ninneman said. “It didn’t make sense that any child would want to grow up this way.”

That experience — along with an internship with Sen. Ben Sasse, a trip to Greece and a class on human trafficking in Africa — pushed Ninneman to look deeper at human trafficking at home.

She decided to write her thesis, “Hidden Human Trafficking in the Heartland,” for the Glynn Family Honors Program at Notre Dame to “explore the history of Nebraska’s current laws, past resolutions, enforcement strategies and educational programming.” Read Article. 


OPS policy, state law give different instructions for reporting abuse

February 18, 2019 

If you see something, say something.

Omaha Public Schools officials pounded that message home to employees after a teacher at Fontenelle Elementary School was arrested last fall on suspicion of molesting students.

Extra training provided this winter to all district staff emphasized that each employee, whether janitors, principals, teachers or administrators, is a mandatory reporter under state law.

The training materials instructed employees to first report to Child Protective Services, then notify the building principal, and the principal will notify the district’s human resources office.

But the district’s own written policy on reporting abuse, adopted by the school board in 2012 and in effect when the Fontenelle situation arose, is not as clear as the message delivered in the training.

The language in the policy first lists that an employee should tell the principal, then states that authorities should also be notified. Read Article.


CBD shops popping up across Nebraska despite attorney general’s memos on cannabidiol

  • A raid that ended in the arrest of mother and son shop owners in Scottsbluff last week is the exception in Nebraska, as stores selling products made with cannabidiol, or CBD, have proliferated across the state. Read More.