Nebraska Revised Statute 54-913

Chapter 54 Section 913

54-913.

Livestock animal seized; hearing to determine disposition and cost; notice; court order; appeal; euthanasia.

(1) After a livestock animal has been seized, the agency that took custody of the livestock animal shall, within seven days after the date of seizure, file a complaint with the district court in the county in which the animal was seized for a hearing to determine the disposition and the cost for the care of the livestock animal. Notice of such hearing shall be given to the owner or custodian from whom such livestock animal was seized and to any holder of a lien or security interest of record in such livestock animal, specifying the date, time, and place of such hearing. Such notice shall be served by personal or residential service or by certified mail. If such notice cannot be served by such methods, service may be made by publication in the county where such livestock animal was seized. Such publication shall be made after application and order of the court. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable and not more than ten business days after the date of application for the hearing unless otherwise determined and ordered by the court.

(2) If the court finds that probable cause exists that the livestock animal has been abandoned or cruelly neglected or mistreated, the court may:

(a) Order immediate forfeiture of the livestock animal to the agency that took custody of the livestock animal and authorize appropriate disposition of the livestock animal, including sale at public auction, adoption, donation to a suitable shelter, humane destruction, or any other manner of disposition approved by the court. With respect to sale of a livestock animal, the proceeds shall first be applied to the cost of sale and then to the expenses for the care of the livestock animal and the remaining proceeds, if any, shall be paid to the holder of a lien or security interest of record in such livestock animal and then to the owner of the livestock animal;

(b) Issue an order to the owner or custodian setting forth the conditions under which custody of the livestock animal shall be returned to the owner or custodian from whom the livestock animal was seized or to any other person claiming an interest in the livestock animal. Such order may include any management actions deemed necessary and prudent by the court, including culling by sale, humane disposal, or forfeiture and securing necessary care, including veterinary care, sufficient for the maintenance of any remaining livestock animal; or

(c) Order the owner or custodian from whom the livestock animal was seized to post a bond or other security, or to otherwise order payment, in an amount that is sufficient to reimburse all reasonable expenses, as determined by the court, for the care of the livestock animal, including veterinary care, incurred by the agency from the date of seizure and necessitated by the possession of the livestock animal. Payments shall be for a succeeding thirty-day period with the first payment due on or before the tenth day following the hearing. Payments for each subsequent succeeding thirty-day period, if any, shall be due on or before the tenth day of such period. The bond or security shall be placed with, or payments ordered under this subdivision shall be paid to, the agency that took custody of the livestock animal. The agency shall provide an accounting of expenses to the court when the livestock animal is no longer in the custody of the agency or upon request by the court. The agency may petition the court for a subsequent hearing under this subsection at any time. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable and not more than ten business days after the date of application for the hearing unless otherwise determined and ordered by the court. When all expenses covered by the bond or security are exhausted and subsequent bond or security has not been posted or if a person becomes delinquent in his or her payments for the expenses of the livestock animal, the livestock animal shall be forfeited to the agency.

(3) If custody of a livestock animal is returned to the owner or custodian of the livestock animal prior to seizure, any proceeds of a bond or security or any payment or portion of payment ordered under this section not used for the care of the livestock animal during the time the animal was held by the agency shall be returned to the owner or custodian.

(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the euthanasia of a seized livestock animal at any time as determined necessary by a law enforcement officer or as authorized by court order.

(5) An appeal may be entered within ten days after a hearing under this section. Any person filing an appeal shall post a bond or security sufficient to pay reasonable costs of care of the livestock animal for thirty days. Such payment will be required for each succeeding thirty-day period until the appeal is final.

(6) If the owner or custodian from whom the livestock animal was seized is found not guilty in an associated criminal proceeding, all funds paid for the expenses of the livestock animal remaining after the actual expenses incurred by the agency have been paid shall be returned to such person.

(7) This section shall not preempt any ordinance of a city of the metropolitan or primary class.