Southeast Nebraska residents and students will have a rare opportunity to sit in on a session of the Nebraska Court of Appeals in a setting other than a typical courtroom.
The court will be in session on the campus of Peru State College on Thursday. College spokeswoman Regan Anson says this is an historic first for the Court of Appeals.
“This is actually the first time they’ve appeared at an undergraduate college campus,” Anson says. “They’ve previously only appeared at Creighton Law School, the University of Nebraska Law School. This is a big deal for us and we’re really excited.”
Anson says the special court session was an idea of a criminal justice professor at the college, who suggested it to Peru State President Dan Hanson, as a way to benefit the school’s 200-plus criminal justice and social science majors. President Hanson contacted the court and got the ball rolling.
In addition to college students, Peru State is inviting area high school and middle school students to observe the proceedings, as well as the general public.
There will be two court sessions at Peru State College on Thursday. The first will be from 9:30 to 11:15 AM . and the second from 1:30 to 3:15 PM. Justices will hear four cases during each session, which will be held in the College Theater.
As a bonus, Anson says audience members will have a chance to ask the judges questions after each session.
“Of course, the questions will have some restrictions,” she says. “The judges can’t comment on the particulars of a case but they can talk about how they go about making deliberations and other general questions about what it’s like to do their job.”
A link to information on the cases that will be heard can be found on line at:
The Nebraska Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court. There are six judges who sit in panels of three judges each. It is generally the first court to hear appeals of judgments and orders in criminal, juvenile, civil, domestic relations and probate matters. Its decisions are final unless the Nebraska Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.
By Matthew Leaf, KTNC, Falls City