Nebraska Revised Statute 24-519

Chapter 24


Clerk magistrate; duties.

Clerk magistrates shall have authority to perform the following duties:

(1) To conduct any proceeding which is based on a misdemeanor, traffic infraction, violation of a city or village ordinance, or traffic violation or infraction under the laws of this state, except the trial of defendants who plead not guilty or for whom a not guilty plea has been entered. Any penalty imposed under this subdivision shall be made pursuant to a schedule established by the Supreme Court. Such schedule shall not provide for imprisonment;

(2) To conduct any proceeding for the issuance of warrants for arrest or for searches and seizures when no county or district judge is available in the county;

(3) To hear and determine any nonfelony proceeding for preliminary examination to determine probable cause or the release on bail of persons charged with bailable offenses;

(4) To determine temporary custody of a juvenile pursuant to sections 43-251, 43-253, 43-254, and 43-258. An order of a clerk magistrate shall be reviewed by the county judge upon the written request of any party to the action within ten days of the order. Such order may be affirmed, modified, or set aside by the county judge. The clerk magistrate may also appoint a guardian ad litem as provided in section 43-272.01;

(5) To hear and determine noncontested proceedings relating to decedents' estates, inheritance tax matters, and guardianship or conservatorship, except that matters relating to the construction of wills and trusts, the determination of title to real estate, and an authorization of the sale or mortgaging of real estate shall not be heard by a clerk magistrate; and

(6) To enter orders for hearings and trials, including orders for garnishment and hearings on distribution of garnished funds.


  • A clerk magistrate has no authority to make a determination as to whether probable cause exists to continue to detain a defendant. State v. Nissen, 252 Neb. 51, 560 N.W.2d 157 (1997).

  • "Construction" includes the process of determining the correct sense, real meaning, or proper explanation of an ambiguous term, phrase, or provision of a will. In re Estate of Walker, 224 Neb. 812, 402 N.W.2d 251 (1987).

  • Prosecution of a traffic infraction is a misdemeanor criminal proceeding authorizing a nonlawyer associate judge of the county court to preside in any such proceeding. Miller v. Peterson, 208 Neb. 658, 305 N.W.2d 364 (1981).