U.S. District Court of Nebraska Seeking Comments On Rule Amendments

Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The U.S. District Court of Nebraska is soliciting feedback on proposed changes to local rules.

Among those changes would be the adoption of word limits for briefs in civil cases. Without the court’s permission, a party’s supporting brief or opposing brief would be limited to 13,000 words and a reply would be limited to 6,500. Those limits would include all text, including captions, headings, footnotes and quotations.

Motions to exceed word limits would be capped at 500 words.

Comments on the amendment must be submitted to the court by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. The complete text of the amendments is available at ned.uscourts.gov. A summary of the amendments is also available, along with a link to submit comments via the website.

The proposed changes include:

• NEGenR. 1.3(a)(1)(B)(ii) – change “attorneys of record” to “case participants” to account for the possibility that a litigant is self-represented, and to match the terminology used in the court’s “Filing Sealed or Restricted Documents” procedures on the court’s external website.

• NEGenR 1.3(a)(4) – Revise to allow the clerk to strike documents related to applications made to the clerk for refunds of fees and assessments. In addition, revise to reflect there are times the court will direct that a document be stricken and restricted or sealed.

• NEGenR 1.3(b)(1) – Strike “Form” from heading since a form is no longer used.

• NEGenR 1.5(a)(1) – Modify to provide that a stay is required only when the court is notified that a defendant in a civil case is the party in bankruptcy.

• NEGenR 1.7(f) – Revise to clarify that only the initial request to proceed pro hac vice in this court requires PACER registration.

• NECivR 5.2 – Revise to correct conflicting information about how to serve nonregistered users.

• NECivR 7.1(a)(2)(B) – Modify to specify that electronically-filed exhibits must include both a category and description.

• NECivR 7.1 – Incorporate a provision that imposes word limits on briefs.

• NECivR 7.4 – Add a provision stating that parties must pay applicable fees and costs directly to the state court

• NECivR 16.1(c) – Strike references to August 6, 2007, since all pro se cases from such time have been resolved.

• NECivR 55.1(c) – Change to include a provision that a party must file a motion for default judgment.

• NECivR 67.1(c) – Strike section and replace with language in the “Guide,” which sets forth the current process used by the AO to assess CRIS and DOF fees.

• NECrimR 49.1.1 – Revise to account for mandatory redaction requirements under 18 U.S.C. § 3509 (i.e., all “child victim” and “child witness” information – as those terms are defined in the statute – must be redacted from criminal transcripts).

The amendments also include a number of grammatical and style changes, such as making capitalization of certain terms consistent, and moving from WordPerfect to Microsoft Word for the rules.

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