Nebraska Revised Statute 43-512.03
County attorney or authorized attorney; duties; enumerated; department; powers; actions; real party in interest; representation; section, how construed.
(1) The county attorney or authorized attorney shall:
(a) On request by the Department of Health and Human Services as described in subsection (2) of this section or when the investigation or application filed under section 43-512 or 43-512.02 justifies, file a complaint against a nonsupporting party in the district, county, or separate juvenile court praying for an order for child or medical support in cases when there is no existing child or medical support order. After notice and hearing, the court shall adjudicate the child and medical support liability of either party and enter an order accordingly;
(b) Enforce child, spousal, and medical support orders by an action for income withholding pursuant to the Income Withholding for Child Support Act;
(c) In addition to income withholding, enforce child, spousal, and medical support orders by other civil actions or administrative actions, citing the defendant for contempt, or filing a criminal complaint;
(d) Establish paternity and collect child and medical support on behalf of children born out of wedlock; and
(2) The department may periodically review cases of individuals receiving enforcement services and make referrals to the county attorney or authorized attorney.
(3) In any action brought by or intervened in by a county attorney or authorized attorney under the Income Withholding for Child Support Act, the License Suspension Act, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, or sections 42-347 to 42-381, 43-290, 43-512 to 43-512.18, 43-1401 to 43-1418, and 43-3328 to 43-3339, such attorneys shall represent the State of Nebraska.
(4) The State of Nebraska shall be a real party in interest in any action brought by or intervened in by a county attorney or authorized attorney for the purpose of establishing paternity or securing, modifying, suspending, or terminating child or medical support or in any action brought by or intervened in by a county attorney or authorized attorney to enforce an order for child, spousal, or medical support.
(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interpret representation by a county attorney or an authorized attorney as creating an attorney-client relationship between the county attorney or authorized attorney and any party or witness to the action, other than the State of Nebraska, regardless of the name in which the action is brought.
- Laws 1976, LB 926, § 5;
- Laws 1977, LB 425, § 3;
- Laws 1981, LB 345, § 3;
- Laws 1982, LB 522, § 14;
- Laws 1983, LB 371, § 15;
- Laws 1985, Second Spec. Sess., LB 7, § 68;
- Laws 1986, LB 600, § 12;
- Laws 1987, LB 37, § 1;
- Laws 1991, LB 457, § 7;
- Laws 1991, LB 715, § 8;
- Laws 1994, LB 1224, § 51;
- Laws 1995, LB 3, § 1;
- Laws 1996, LB 1044, § 158;
- Laws 1997, LB 229, § 36;
- Laws 1997, LB 307, § 60;
- Laws 1997, LB 752, § 98;
- Laws 2004, LB 1207, § 37;
- Laws 2009, LB288, § 8.
As a prerequisite for an action under this section, there cannot be an existing child support order in Nebraska or any other jurisdiction. State ex rel. Gaddis v. Gaddis, 237 Neb. 264, 465 N.W.2d 773 (1991).
The Nebraska Court of Appeals has found no authority stating that the request from the Department of Health and Human Resources is necessary evidence for the State to have standing in a contempt action under this section. House v. House, 24 Neb. App. 595, 894 N.W.2d 362 (2017).
The nonexistence of a support order is a prerequisite to an action by the State to establish support under this section, and a dissolution decree or modification order which addresses the issue of support, even if ordering that no support is due from either party, constitutes a support order which precludes the State from instituting such an action. State ex rel. Cammarata v. Chambers, 6 Neb. App. 467, 574 N.W.2d 530 (1998).