The Cass County Clerk of the District Court is an elected office. The term of the office is four years. Each county in the State of Nebraska has a clerk of the district court performing the administrative duties associated with the court. Nebraska law states that counties with 7,000 inhabitants are required to have a clerk of the district court elected by the voters. District courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction and are organized into 12 judicial districts to serve all 93 counties in the state. Cass County is in the second Judicial District, which also includes Sarpy and Otoe counties. Although the district courts have concurrent jurisdiction with county courts, they primarily hear all felony criminal cases, equity cases, domestic relations cases and civil cases involving more than $53,000. It also functions as an appellate court in deciding appeals from county courts and various administrative agencies.
Besides being the administrative officer of the court, the Clerks of the District Courts are responsible for the record keeping of criminal and civil cases, maintenance of the court's dockets and processing judgments. The clerk also serves as a passport agent and is the ex-officio jury commissioner for the court.
Some of the duties of the district court office are:
- Issuing writs and orders.
- Filing and preserving all papers delivered to him or her.
- Endorsing papers filed with him or her.
- Make entry of return of every summons, subpoena and order served.
- Keep the records, books and papers pertaining to the court and record its proceedings.
- Prepare and file the annual inventory statement of all county personal property in his or her custody & possession.
- Provide and process protection order applications.
- Track all court costs, fees, fines and restitution ordered on each case filed.
- Approved Passport Acceptance Facility – see additional information in Frequently Asked Questions below
Do you have forms to complete to file for divorce? We suggest that you seek the advice of legal counsel. If you cannot afford an attorney, you might contact Legal Services of Southeast Nebraska. Their toll free number is 1-800-742-7555.
For those wanting to find forms available to the public, there are forms available online at the Nebraska Judicial Branch (https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/) under the 'Self Help Center". Please read and print all instructions provided on this web site designed to aid self-represented litigants proceed through the judicial process.
Requests for criminal record searches? The Clerk of the District Court office does not conduct record searches. Our records are open to the public and we will direct you to the records to be searched. Our staff does not have the time nor do we accept the responsibility of conducting the search for you.
How far back do your records go for the purpose of genealogy research? We have records that date back to the 1800's. We will assist by directing you to the books and records you need to research but if any assistance is given, it will be as our time permits. Copies may be purchased at a nominal fee.
How was I chosen as a Juror? Jurors are chosen at random from current lists of persons age 19 and older, living in Cass County, Nebraska who are registered voters or licensed drivers or have a state issued ID card. Some people are chosen several times during their lifetime, others are never chosen. If you are a registered voter or a licensed driver or have a state ID card, you have the same chance of being chosen as anyone else who meets those criteria.
How long do I have to serve on a Jury panel? Each jury panel is for a two-week period. Cases are normally set on Wednesday through Friday of each week.
How can I be postponed or excused from jury service? A request must be sent to the District Court Judge or the Jury Commissioner (District Court Clerk) in writing or by email to both email@example.com AND ALSO to firstname.lastname@example.org stating what your hardship is at this time. The District Court Judge will address each request individually and act on that request. You will then be notified of the Judge’s decision.
How will I know if the jury service dates have changed? If you provide an email address or phone number and carrier that can receive texts when you complete the juror qualification form (this form can be completed on-line or mailed in) you will receive a text and/or email regarding any changes for the jury panel. You can also call this office or the Juror Information Line: 800-574-8586 (toll free) or 296-9338 (local).
Do you process passport applications? Yes, this office accepts/reviews the applications and fees and then forwards them to the U.S. Department of State for final processing. Please call in advance for availability of a passport agent.
What do I need to bring with me to process a passport application? Each applicant must have a completed DS11 (available on line at travel.state.gov or at this office), a certified copy of birth certificate (hospital certificates are NOT acceptable), a recently taken passport photo, a personal check to the U.S. Department of State (call this office for current fees or go online to https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/fees.html), cash for execution fee (processing/County Fee – currently $25.00 per application), and a photo ID such as a driver’s license (an additional photo ID will be required for applicants with out of state driver’s license).
Who needs to be present when applying for a passport? Each applicant must personally appear. Applicants aged 16 and 17 must also have one parent present (with photo ID). Applicants under the age of 16 must have both parents present (with photo ID). If both parents cannot be present and for other special circumstances, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html)
How long does it take to get a passport? Current processing times are provided at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html
The following forms are available at the office of the Clerk of the District Court:
- Passport Applications
- Protection Order Applications
- Voluntary Notice to Withhold forms
The clerk of the district court serves the general public. All of the clerk's records are public record. Copies and Certified copies may be obtained from this office. The following fees apply for obtaining copies:
- On-site files: $ .25 per page for photocopies
- Color and/or over-sized copies: $0.50 per page
- Certification: $ 1.00 per seal for certification
- Authentication: Requires 3 seals
- Faxing: Outgoing fax $1.50 for 1st page and cover sheet plus $0.50 for each additional page.
- Faxed filing: $3.00 for first page and cover sheet, $1.00 for each additional page (Fax filing is available for documents. All fax filings must comply with NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT RULES FOR THE USE OF FAX MACHINES IN STATE COURTS.)
QUESTIONS INVOLVING THE FOLLOWING MATTERS SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE “ COUNTY COURT”:
Civil - $53,000 & Under
Small Claims - $2,700 & Under
FELONY Preliminary Hearings
FELONY TRIALS & APPEALED CASES are in DISTRICT COURT
City and/or Village Ordinances
| CASS “COUNTY COURT” CONTACT INFORMATION:
Located: 2nd floor of the Cass County Courthouse, Room #201
The Honorable Michael A. Smith is the presiding district court judge For Cass County. Michael A. Smith also serves as the resident judge in Otoe County.
At the present time, the District Court's Office staff is:
Clerk of the District Court: Barbara L Prokupek
Deputy Clerk: Pamela S. Swenson
Other staff include: 2 clerical clerks
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Normal passport processing times: 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mondays; 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday – Friday. Call ahead for availability of passport agents.
||Clerk of the District Court
||Cass County Courthouse
||346 Main. #303
||Plattsmouth, NE 68048-1964
Nebraska Child Support Payment Center – customer service phone number: 877-631-9973 (toll free)Automated service for checking child support payments - You must have your County Number (20) and current case ID when calling this number)
Juror Information Line: 800-574-8586 (toll free) or 296-9338 (local)
Referral Phone Numbers:
||1-800-523-3666 or 291-6065
||Legal Services of Southeast NE
||Southeast NE Mediation Center