Seized property; custody.
Except for animals as provided in section 28-1012.01, property seized under a search warrant or validly seized without a warrant shall be safely kept by the officer seizing the same, unless otherwise directed by the judge or magistrate, and shall be so kept so long as necessary for the purpose of being produced as evidence in any trial. Property seized may not be taken from the officer having it in custody by replevin or other writ so long as it is or may be required as evidence in any trial, nor may it be so taken in any event where a complaint has been filed in connection with which the property was or may be used as evidence, and the court in which such complaint was filed shall have exclusive jurisdiction for disposition of the property or funds and to determine rights therein, including questions respecting the title, possession, control, and disposition thereof. This section shall not preempt, and shall not be construed to preempt, any ordinance of a city of the metropolitan or primary class.
Source:Laws 1963, c. 161, § 7, p. 573; Laws 2010, LB712, § 14; Laws 2013, LB423, § 2; Laws 2015, LB360, § 11.
Seizure of vehicle and component parts, see section 60-2608.
Property seized and held as evidence is to be safely kept by the officer seizing it unless otherwise directed by the court, and the officer is to exercise reasonable care and diligence for the safekeeping of the property. The property shall be kept so long as necessary for the purpose of being produced as evidence at trial. State v. Agee, 274 Neb. 445, 741 N.W.2d 161 (2007).
The court in which a criminal charge was filed has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the rights to seized property and the property's disposition. State v. Agee, 274 Neb. 445, 741 N.W.2d 161 (2007).
A police officer's failure to "safely" keep a seized vehicle can give rise to liability under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. Section 29-818 requires a police officer to exercise reasonable care and diligence for the safekeeping of property within his custody. Nash v. City of North Platte, 205 Neb. 480, 288 N.W.2d 51 (1980).
The trial court's decision on the return of seized property is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. State v. Maestas, 11 Neb. App. 262, 647 N.W.2d 122 (2002).