Nebraska public records refer to any documents or information that is considered to be a matter of public interest or concern, and which is available to the general public for inspection or review. These records may include everything from court records and criminal records, to land records and property records, to government documents and financial records.
In Nebraska, the public records law is governed by the Nebraska Public Records Statute, which is codified in the state's revised statutes at Chapter 84, Article 3. This law requires that all public records be made available for inspection and copying by any person, unless there is a specific statutory exemption that applies. The law applies to all state and local government agencies, as well as to certain private organizations that perform public functions.
In Nebraska, you can access birth, death, marriage, and divorce records through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Vital Records office.
To request a copy of a birth, death, marriage, or divorce record, you can:
- Submit an online request through the DHHS Vital Records website.
- Mail a completed application form and the required fees to the DHHS Vital Records office located at the address below.
- Visit the DHHS Vital Records office in person at the following address:
DHHS Vital Records
301 Centennial Mall South, Lower Level
P.O. Box 95065
Lincoln, NE 68509
Please note that you may need to provide identification and proof of relationship to the person listed on the record. Additionally, some records may have restrictions on access due to privacy laws.
Criminal records can be accessed through the Nebraska State Patrol's Criminal History Repository. To request a criminal history record check, you must fill out a request form and provide a valid government-issued identification. The form can be found on the Nebraska State Patrol's website or obtained in person at the Nebraska State Patrol's headquarters in Lincoln. You can also request a criminal history record check through a local law enforcement agency or through a private third-party provider. However, keep in mind that access to criminal records may be restricted based on the nature of the offense and the individual's rights to privacy.
To access court records in Nebraska, you can follow these steps:
- Determine the court where the case was heard. Court records are maintained by the specific court that heard the case. For example, if the case was heard in a district court, you will need to access records from the district court.
- Visit the Nebraska Court System's website. The website has a searchable database of court records. You can search for records by case number, party name, or location.
- Contact the specific court where the case was heard. If you are unable to find the records online, you can contact the court directly to request access to the records. Each court has its own procedures for accessing court records, so you may need to provide identifying information or pay a fee.
- Visit the courthouse in person. Some courts may require you to visit the courthouse in person to access court records. You may need to provide identification and pay a fee to access the records.
- Hire a legal researcher or attorney. If you are unable to access the records on your own, you may consider hiring a legal researcher or attorney to assist you in obtaining the records.
You can access property records in Nebraska through the following methods:
- Visit the county assessor's office in person: Each county in Nebraska has a county assessor's office where you can view property records. You will need to provide the property address or parcel number to access the records.
- Use the online property search tool: Many county assessor's offices in Nebraska have online property search tools that allow you to view property records online. You can search by property address or parcel number.
- Use the Nebraska State Property Information System (NSPIS): The NSPIS is a centralized database that allows you to access property records from multiple counties in Nebraska. You can access the NSPIS through the Nebraska Department of Revenue website.
- Use a private property search company: There are several private companies that offer property search services in Nebraska. These companies may charge a fee for their services, but they can often provide more detailed property records.
Overall, the Nebraska Public Records Statute plays a vital role in ensuring transparency and accountability in government, and in helping the public to stay informed about the activities and decisions of government agencies and private organizations. While there are certainly challenges and complexities involved in the release of public records, the law is an important tool for promoting open and accountable government in the state of Nebraska.