Nebraska Revised Statute 29-818
Seized property; custody.
Except for animals as provided in section 28-1012.01, property seized under a search warrant or validly seized without a warrant shall be safely kept by the officer seizing the same, unless otherwise directed by the judge or magistrate, and shall be so kept so long as necessary for the purpose of being produced as evidence in any trial. Property seized may not be taken from the officer having it in custody by replevin or other writ so long as it is or may be required as evidence in any trial, nor may it be so taken in any event where a complaint has been filed in connection with which the property was or may be used as evidence, and the court in which such complaint was filed shall have exclusive jurisdiction for disposition of the property or funds and to determine rights therein, including questions respecting the title, possession, control, and disposition thereof. This section shall not preempt, and shall not be construed to preempt, any ordinance of a city of the metropolitan or primary class.
- Seizure of vehicle and component parts, see section 60-2608.
The district court, as the court in which the criminal charge was filed, has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the rights to seized property and the property's disposition. State v. McGuire, 301 Neb. 895, 921 N.W.2d 77 (2018).
The court in which a criminal charge was filed has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the rights to seized property and the property's disposition. State v. Agee, 274 Neb. 445, 741 N.W.2d 161 (2007).
A car was property seized for the purpose of enforcing criminal laws in the plaintiff's ongoing criminal case; therefore, the car had been and remained to be in the custody of the court in the criminal case. As such, the district court in the plaintiff's separate criminal case continued to have exclusive jurisdiction to determine the rights to the car and the car's disposition. Huff v. Otto, 28 Neb. App. 646, 947 N.W.2d 343 (2020).
A harmonious reading of this section and section 29-819 is that references to jurisdiction in each are to jurisdiction over seized property, not subject matter jurisdiction. Huff v. Otto, 28 Neb. App. 646, 947 N.W.2d 343 (2020).
Where invoked, the grant of "exclusive jurisdiction" under this section gives a criminal trial court exclusive jurisdiction over only two issues: the disposition of seized property and the determination of rights in seized property. Huff v. Otto, 28 Neb. App. 646, 947 N.W.2d 343 (2020).
The presumptive right to possession of seized property may be overcome when superior title in another is shown by a preponderance of the evidence. State v. Ebert, 303 Neb. 394, 929 N.W.2d 478 (2019).
Postconviction proceedings are the equivalent of a "trial" for purposes of this section. State v. Buttercase, 296 Neb. 304, 893 N.W.2d 430 (2017).
Property seized and held as evidence is to be safely kept by the officer seizing it unless otherwise directed by the court, and the officer is to exercise reasonable care and diligence for the safekeeping of the property. The property shall be kept so long as necessary for the purpose of being produced as evidence at trial. State v. Agee, 274 Neb. 445, 741 N.W.2d 161 (2007).
A police officer's failure to "safely" keep a seized vehicle can give rise to liability under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. Section 29-818 requires a police officer to exercise reasonable care and diligence for the safekeeping of property within his custody. Nash v. City of North Platte, 205 Neb. 480, 288 N.W.2d 51 (1980).
This section mandates that the seized property is to be kept so long as necessary to make it available as evidence in "any trial." Postconviction proceedings are the equivalent of a "trial" for purposes of this section. Huff v. Otto, 28 Neb. App. 646, 947 N.W.2d 343 (2020).
The trial court's decision on the return of seized property is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. State v. Maestas, 11 Neb. App. 262, 647 N.W.2d 122 (2002).