The goal of the Platte County Attorney’s Office is to work with other public and private agencies and service providers to create and maintain a county that is safe and responsive to the needs of all of its citizens. We are a part of local, regional and state teams that address issues of drug trafficking, adult and juvenile mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, juvenile services and gang prevention. We try to be proactive in communicating needed policy and law changes locally and to the state Legislature and Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

The county attorney’s office prosecutes criminal violations. We review law enforcement reports to determine if criminal charges should be filed with the courts. This process includes identifying victims’ safety and restitution issues. Also reviewed are reports to determine whether juvenile court action is necessary to protect children who are truant from school or home, abused, neglected or suicidal. After a criminal or juvenile case is filed, the county attorney handles the matter to conclusion.

Some of the most vulnerable people within our community are mentally ill persons needing emergency services. When reports indicate that an adult person is mentally ill and poses a threat to themselves or others, the county attorney may initiate a mental health commitment action to identify appropriate medications and involuntary therapeutic interventions, thereby reducing the risk of danger for the mentally ill person and our community.

The county attorney serves as coroner, investigating all deaths occurring outside the presence of a physician and authorizes autopsies, if necessary, to determine cause and manner of death. Fatal motor vehicle accidents may prompt an autopsy when the county attorney determines a driver may have committed a traffic or criminal law violation thought to be a substantial factor in causing a death.

The county attorney gives legal advice to all county officials upon request, initiates tax foreclosures in the district court for unpaid real estate taxes, and enforces child support orders to ensure payment of child support by noncustodial parents. Either the county attorney or one of the deputy county attorneys is on duty 24 hours a day to assist law enforcement with emergencies.

Staff includes: Chief Deputy County Attorney Breanna Anderson, who handles juvenile matters, child support collection and criminal cases; Deputy County Attorney Elizabeth Lay, who handles mental health commitments, county board issues, county personnel issues, inheritance tax worksheets and disputed real estate tax matters, along with criminal cases; and Deputy County Attorney Jose Rodriguez, who handles drug and fraud prosecutions, leads efforts against human sex and labor trafficking and handles criminal cases.

The child support enforcement unit consists of Linda Brandenburgh, Diane Thress and Jessica Hake. The legal secretarial staff consists of Virginia Wennekamp, Jill Paprocki and Ruth Dinkel. The victim’s unit consists of Nicolette Coble and Samantha Schreiber. The juvenile diversion unit is coordinated by Teri Schuller, who is assisted by Santiago Vasquez and assessment specialist Vanessa Oceguera. The adult diversion coordinator is Krystal Butacan.

Platte County Attorney Carl Hart can be reached at chart@plattene.us or 402-563-4903.

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