Nebraska Revised Statute 15-734

Chapter 15


Sidewalks; construction; repair; duty of landowner; power of city in case of default; cost; special assessment.

The owner of property abutting on public streets in a city of the primary class is primarily charged with the duty of keeping and maintaining the sidewalks on such property in a safe and sound condition and free from snow, ice, and other obstructions. Upon a failure to so keep and maintain such sidewalks, and upon notice to such abutting property owner as provided in this section, such abutting property owner shall be liable for injuries or damages sustained by reason of such failure. Such city is given general charge, control, and supervision of the streets and sidewalks thereof and is required to cause to be maintained or maintain the same in a reasonably safe condition. The city is given full power to require owners of abutting property to keep and maintain the sidewalks of such property in a safe and sound condition and free from snow, ice, and other obstructions and to require such abutting property owners to construct and maintain the sidewalks of such material and of such dimensions and upon such grade as may be determined by the city council. In case such abutting property owner refuses or neglects, after five days' notice by publication in a legal newspaper in or of general circulation in such city, or in place thereof, by personal service of such notice, to so construct or maintain such sidewalk, the city through the proper officers may construct or repair such sidewalk or cause such sidewalk to be constructed or repaired, and report the cost of such construction or repairs to the city council, whereupon the city council shall assess such costs against such abutting property. The city council may receive bids for constructing or repairing any or all such sidewalks and may let contracts to the lowest responsible bidders for constructing or repairing such sidewalks. The contractor or contractors shall be paid for such contracts from special assessments against the abutting property. The cost of constructing, replacing, repairing, or grading thereof shall be assessed at a regular city council meeting by resolution, fixing the cost along abutting property as a special assessment against such property; and the amount charged or the cost thereof shall be recorded in the minutes. Notice of the time of such meeting of the city council and its purpose shall be published once in a legal newspaper in or of general circulation in the city at least five days before the meeting of the city council is to be held, or, in place thereof, personal notice may be given to such abutting property owners. Such special assessment shall be known as special sidewalk assessments, and together with the cost of notice, shall be levied and collected as special assessments in addition to the general revenue taxes, and shall be subject to the same penalties and shall draw interest at a rate not to exceed the rate of interest specified in section 45-104.01, as such rate may from time to time be adjusted by the Legislature, from the date of the levy thereof until satisfied.


  • Laws 1901, c. 16, § 107, p. 113;
  • R.S.1913, § 4540;
  • C.S.1922, § 3926;
  • C.S.1929, § 15-719;
  • R.S.1943, § 15-734;
  • Laws 1980, LB 933, § 7;
  • Laws 1981, LB 167, § 8;
  • Laws 2020, LB1003, § 124.


  • Giving of statutory notice is condition precedent to action based on injury from failure to remove snow and ice. Stump v. Stransky, 168 Neb. 414, 95 N.W.2d 691 (1959).

  • City is not an insurer of safety of pedestrians using sidewalks, but is required only to keep them in a reasonably safe condition for travel. Anthony v. City of Lincoln, 152 Neb. 320, 41 N.W.2d 147 (1950).

  • When city contracted for construction of sidewalk but neglected to collect assessment and agreed to release owner, it was liable to contractor. Ward v. City of Lincoln, 87 Neb. 661, 128 N.W. 24 (1910).

  • In action by city against owner for damages paid for injuries from defective walk, statute of limitations began to run when final judgment was rendered against city. City of Lincoln v. First Nat. Bank of Lincoln, 67 Neb. 401, 93 N.W. 698 (1903).

  • Not liable unless city, through proper officers, knew of defect or same had existed so long as to constitute notice. Nothdurft v. City of Lincoln, 66 Neb. 430, 92 N.W. 628 (1902), rehearing denied 66 Neb. 434, 96 N.W. 163 (1903).

  • Owner need not repair until notified by city. City of Lincoln v. Janesch, 63 Neb. 707, 89 N.W. 280 (1902).

  • The fact that the duty of maintaining sidewalks in repair is imposed upon owner does not relieve city from such duty and consequent liability. City of Lincoln v. Pirner, 59 Neb. 634, 81 N.W. 846 (1900); City of Lincoln v. O'Brien, 56 Neb. 761, 77 N.W. 76 (1898).

  • Traveler has right to presume walk is safe; city liable for unguarded excavations in street and sidewalks. City of Lincoln v. Walker, 18 Neb. 250, 25 N.W. 66 (1885).

  • Liability under the special use doctrine, regarding portions of public sidewalk altered or constructed to benefit a landowner's property, could not be imputed to a tenant in a customer's negligence action where there was no evidence the tenant was responsible under the lease terms for the maintenance of the sidewalk. Henderson v. Smallcomb, 22 Neb. App. 90, 847 N.W.2d 738 (2014).