Nebraska Revised Statute 25-2804

Chapter 25


Actions; how commenced; fee; hearing; notice; setoff or counterclaim; limitations; default judgment; actions authorized.

(1) Actions in the Small Claims Court shall be commenced by the plaintiff by filing a claim personally, by mail, or by another method established by Supreme Court rules.

(2) At the time of the filing of the claim, the plaintiff shall pay a fee of six dollars and twenty-five cents to the clerk. One dollar and twenty-five cents of such fee shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Nebraska Retirement Fund for Judges through June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, 2021, two dollars of such fee shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Nebraska Retirement Fund for Judges.

(3) Upon filing of a claim in the Small Claims Court, the court shall set a time for hearing and shall cause notice to be served upon the defendant. Notice shall be served not less than five days before the time set for hearing. Notice shall consist of a copy of the complaint and a summons directing the defendant to appear at the time set for hearing and informing the defendant that if he or she fails to appear, judgment will be entered against him or her. Notice shall be served in the manner provided for service of a summons in a civil action. If the notice is to be served by certified mail, the clerk shall provide the plaintiff with written instructions, prepared and provided by the State Court Administrator, regarding the proper procedure for service by certified mail. The cost of service shall be paid by the plaintiff, but such cost and filing fee shall be added to any judgment given the plaintiff.

(4) The defendant may file a setoff or counterclaim. Any setoff or counterclaim shall be filed and a copy delivered to the plaintiff at least two days prior to the time of trial. If the setoff or counterclaim exceeds the jurisdictional limits of the Small Claims Court as established pursuant to section 25-2802, the court shall cause the entire matter to be transferred to the regular county court docket and set for trial.

(5) No prejudgment actions for attachment, garnishment, replevin, or other provisional remedy may be filed in the Small Claims Court.

(6) All forms that may be required by this section shall be prescribed by the Supreme Court.

(7) For a default judgment rendered by a Small Claims Court (a) the default judgment may be appealed as provided in section 25-2807, (b) if a motion for a new trial, by the procedure provided in sections 25-1142, 25-1144, and 25-1144.01, is filed ten days or less after entry of the default judgment, the court may act upon the motion without a hearing, or (c) if more than ten days have passed since the entry of the default judgment, the court may set aside, vacate, or modify the default judgment as provided in section 25-2720.01. Parties may be represented by attorneys for the purpose of filing a motion for a new trial or to set aside, vacate, or modify a default judgment.


  • A general appearance waives any defects in the process or notice, the steps preliminary to its issuance, or in the service or return thereof. Harris v. Eberhardt, 215 Neb. 240, 338 N.W.2d 53 (1983).