Laws governing citizen grand juries in Nebraska

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Nebraska is one of six states that allow citizens to collect signatures on petitions in order to request a county grand jury to convene, according to Nebraska Revised Statute 29-1401.02.[1]

Nebraska Revised Statute 29-1401.02

29-1401.02. Grand jury by petition; procedure; failure to call; filing.

The procedure for calling a grand jury by petition of the registered voters of the county shall be as follows:

(1) The petitions shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court, comply with the requirements in section 29-1401, and be filed without a filing fee;

(2) Upon receipt of such petitions, the clerk of the district court shall forthwith certify the petitions so filed to the county clerk or election commissioner in the county in which the signers of such petitions are registered to vote and shall request that the signatures on such petitions be validated according to the list of registered voters;

(3) The county clerk or election commissioner shall, within thirty days after receipt of such petitions, determine the number of valid signatures appearing on such petitions and certify the findings along with the total vote cast for Governor at the most recent election for such office in such county to the presiding judge of the district court in which the petitions were filed;

(4) The presiding judge of the district court shall, upon receipt of the certificate from the county clerk or election commissioner, examine the petitions and within fifteen days after the receipt thereof shall determine: (a) Whether the requisite number of valid signatures appear on such petitions; and (b) whether the formal requirements as to the form of the petition have been satisfied;

(5) The determination of sufficiency of the petitions by the presiding judge shall be based solely upon the certification of valid signatures by the county clerk or election commissioner and upon the presiding judge's personal examination of the form of the petitions. No additional evidence shall be considered by the presiding judge in making the determination of sufficiency and under no circumstances shall any petitioner be required to testify or otherwise present evidence relating to allegations contained in the petitions;

(6) Upon a determination that the requisite number of valid signatures appeared on the petitions and that the petitions otherwise were sufficient as to form, the presiding judge shall call a grand jury forthwith;

(7) If the presiding judge of the district court fails to make a determination as to the sufficiency of the petitions and fails to call a grand jury within fifteen days after the date of delivery of the petitions to the presiding judge, the clerk of the district court shall immediately call a grand jury pursuant to law, notwithstanding the fact that the presiding judge of the district court failed to determine sufficiency of the petitions and did not call the grand jury; and

(8) If the presiding judge or clerk of the district court fails to call a grand jury, the petitioners may file an immediate request with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or in his or her absence, with any judge thereof, and request that the Chief Justice or judge review the petitions and certifications and call a grand jury. If the Chief Justice or judge of the Supreme Court determines sufficiency of the petitions according to law, the Chief Justice or judge shall order the clerk of the district court to call a grand jury.[2]

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References

  1. Nebraska Legislature,"Nebraska Revised Statute 29-1401.02," accessed March 14, 2014
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.