43-246.02. Transfer of jurisdiction to district court; bridge order; criteria; records; modification.

(1) A juvenile court may terminate its jurisdiction under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247 by transferring jurisdiction over the juvenile's custody, physical care, and visitation to the district court through a bridge order, if all of the following criteria are met:

(a) The juvenile has been adjudicated under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247 in an active juvenile court case and a dispositional order in that case is in place;

(b) Paternity of the juvenile has been legally established, including by operation of law due to an individual's marriage to the mother at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child; by order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or by administrative order when authorized by law;

(c) The juvenile has been safely placed by the juvenile court with a legal parent; and

(d) The juvenile court has determined that its jurisdiction under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247 should properly end once orders for custody, physical care, and visitation are entered by the district court.

(2) When the criteria in subsection (1) of this section are met, a legal parent or guardian ad litem to a juvenile adjudicated under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247 in juvenile court may file a motion with the juvenile court for a bridge order under subsection (3) of this section. The parent is not required to intervene in the action. The motion shall be set for evidentiary hearing by the juvenile court no less than thirty days or more than ninety days from the date of the filing of the motion. The juvenile court, on its own motion, may also set an evidentiary hearing on the issue of a bridge order if such hearing is set no less than thirty days from the date of notice to the parties. The court may waive the evidentiary hearing if all issues raised in the motion for a bridge order are resolved by agreement of all parties and entry of a stipulated order.

(3) A motion for a bridge order shall:

(a) Allege that the juvenile court action filed under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247 may safely be closed once orders for custody, physical care, and visitation have been entered by the district court;

(b) State the relief sought by the petitioning legal parent or guardian ad litem;

(c) Disclose any other action or proceedings affecting custody of the juvenile, including proceedings related to domestic violence, protection orders, terminations of parental rights, and adoptions, including the docket number, court, county, and state of any such proceeding;

(d) State the names and addresses of any persons other than the legal parents who have a court order for physical custody or claim to have custody or visitation rights with the juvenile; and

(e) Name as a respondent any other person who has any relation to the controversy.

(4) A juvenile court shall designate the petitioner and respondent for purposes of a bridge order. A bridge order shall only address matters of legal and physical custody and parenting time. All other matters, including child support, shall be resolved by filing a separate petition or motion or by action of the child support enforcement office and shall be subject to existing applicable statutory provisions. No mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution under section 42-364 shall be required in either district court or juvenile court where the juvenile has entered a bridge order. The Parenting Act shall not apply to the entry of the bridge order in juvenile or district court.

(5) Upon transferring jurisdiction from a juvenile court to a district court, the clerk of the district court shall docket the case under either a new docket or any previous docket establishing custody or paternity of a child.

(6) The district court shall give full force and effect to the juvenile court bridge order as to custody and parenting time and shall not modify the juvenile court bridge order without modification proceedings as provided in subsection (8) of this section.

(7) A district court shall take judicial notice of the juvenile court pleadings and orders in any hearing held subsequent to transfer. Records contained in the district court case file that were copied or transferred from the juvenile court file concerning the case shall be subject to section 43-2,108 and other confidentiality provisions of the Nebraska Juvenile Code, and such records shall only be disclosed, upon request, to the child support enforcement office without a court order.

(8) Following the issuance of a bridge order, a party may file a petition in district court for modification of the bridge order as to legal and physical custody or parenting time. If the petition for modification is filed within one year after the filing date of the bridge order, the party requesting modification shall not be required to demonstrate a substantial change of circumstance but instead shall demonstrate that such modification is in the best interests of the child. If a petition for modification is filed within one year after the filing date of the bridge order, filing fees and other court costs shall not be assessed against the parties.

(9) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require appointment of counsel for the parties in the district court action.

Source:Laws 2017, LB180, ยง 1.
Effective Date: August 24, 2017

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