Nebraska Revised Statute 43-290
Chapter 43 Section 290
Costs of care and treatment; payment; procedure.
It is the purpose of this section to promote parental responsibility and to provide for the most equitable use and availability of public money.
Pursuant to a petition filed by a county attorney or city attorney having knowledge of a juvenile in his or her jurisdiction who appears to be a juvenile described in subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) of section 43-247, whenever the care or custody of a juvenile is given by the court to someone other than his or her parent, which shall include placement with a state agency, or when a juvenile is given medical, psychological, or psychiatric study or treatment under order of the court, the court shall make a determination of support to be paid by a parent for the juvenile at the same proceeding at which placement, study, or treatment is determined or at a separate proceeding. Such proceeding, which may occur prior to, at the same time as, or subsequent to adjudication, shall be in the nature of a disposition hearing.
At such proceeding, after summons to the parent of the time and place of hearing served as provided in sections 43-262 to 43-267, the court may order and decree that the parent shall pay, in such manner as the court may direct, a reasonable sum that will cover in whole or part the support, study, and treatment of the juvenile, which amount ordered paid shall be the extent of the liability of the parent. The court in making such order shall give due regard to the cost of the support, study, and treatment of the juvenile, the ability of the parent to pay, and the availability of money for the support of the juvenile from previous judicial decrees, social security benefits, veterans benefits, or other sources. Support thus received by the court shall be transmitted to the person, agency, or institution having financial responsibility for such support, study, or treatment and, if a state agency or institution, remitted by such state agency or institution quarterly to the Director of Administrative Services for credit to the proper fund.
Whenever medical, psychological, or psychiatric study or treatment is ordered by the court, whether or not the juvenile is placed with someone other than his or her parent, or if such study or treatment is otherwise provided as determined necessary by the custodian of the juvenile, the court shall inquire as to the availability of insured or uninsured health care coverage or service plans which include the juvenile. The court may order the parent to pay over any plan benefit sums received on coverage for the juvenile. The payment of any deductible under the health care benefit plan covering the juvenile shall be the responsibility of the parent. If the parent willfully fails or refuses to pay the sum ordered or to pay over any health care plan benefit sums received, the court may proceed against him or her as for contempt, either on the court's own motion or on the motion of the county attorney or authorized attorney as provided in section 43-512, or execution shall issue at the request of any person, agency, or institution treating or maintaining such juvenile. The court may afterwards, because of a change in the circumstances of the parties, revise or alter the order of payment for support, study, or treatment.
If the juvenile has been committed to the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, the department shall pay the costs for the support, study, or treatment of the juvenile which are not otherwise paid by the juvenile's parent.
If no provision is otherwise made by law for the support or payment for the study or treatment of the juvenile, compensation for the support, study, or treatment shall be paid, when approved by an order of the court, out of a fund which shall be appropriated by the county in which the petition is filed.
The juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over a parent ordered to pay support for the purpose of enforcing such support order for so long as such support remains unpaid but not to exceed ten years from the nineteenth birthday of the youngest child for whom support was ordered.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for the costs of placing and caring for juveniles within its custody, regardless of which subsection of section 43-247 that juvenile is adjudicated under. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for the costs of caring for a juvenile with which it has been granted custody, but only for those periods during which the juvenile is actually placed, by order of a juvenile court, in the custody of the department. In re Interest of Jeremy T., 257 Neb. 736, 600 N.W.2d 747 (1999).
Court-ordered detention of a juvenile for the partial purpose of placement into a treatment program constitutes "treatment" of the juvenile as the term is used in this section. In re Interest of Aaron K., 250 Neb. 489, 550 N.W.2d 13 (1996).
A separate summons must be served on a parent of the time and place of a support hearing if the support hearing is not conducted at the same proceeding at which placement, study, or treatment is determined. In re Interest of Rondell B., 249 Neb. 928, 546 N.W.2d 801 (1996).
If the child has not been committed to the custody of the Department of Social Services, the court has no authority to order the department to finance the child's custody or treatment. In re Interest of Todd T., 249 Neb. 738, 545 N.W.2d 711 (1996).
When a juvenile is committed to the care and custody of the Department of Social Services, and temporary detention results for the protection of the child, or is found to be in the best interests of the juvenile's physical or mental health needs, that type of detention is "treatment" of the juvenile. In re Interest of Lisa O., 248 Neb. 865, 540 N.W.2d 109 (1995).
An order which requires the Department of Social Services to pay for services rendered to the juvenile's father constitutes a dispositional hearing as contemplated by the juvenile code. In re Interest of M.J.B., 242 Neb. 671, 496 N.W.2d 495 (1993).
The amendment to this section providing that "(i)f the juvenile has been committed to the care and custody of the Department of Social Services, the department shall pay the costs for the support, study, or treatment of the juvenile which are not otherwise paid by the juvenile's parent" applies only where the court orders such services after the effective date of the amendment, August 25, 1989. In re Interest of J.M.N., 237 Neb. 116, 464 N.W.2d 811 (1991).
The Department of Social Services is not a parent within the meaning of this section. In re Interest of J.M.N., 237 Neb. 116, 464 N.W.2d 811 (1991).
Whether a parent is ordered to contribute to the support, study, and treatment of a juvenile under this section is a matter entrusted to the discretion of the juvenile or county court. A subsidized adoption agreement with the Department of Social Services was properly considered as a "source" of money available for a juvenile's support. In re Interest of Crystal T., 4 Neb. App. 503, 546 N.W.2d 77 (1996).
The section allows a court to retain jurisdiction over a parent when the parent is ordered to pay for services rendered to a child, but does not give the court power over the parent when the court never obtained jurisdiction over the parent, or when the court lost jurisdiction over the parent. In re Interest of Lisa V., 3 Neb. App. 559, 529 N.W.2d 805 (1995).