Civil Division

Sarpy County is a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska. One of the first counties in the State, Sarpy was created by the Territorial Legislature in 1857. Traditionally, the county was the unit of local government which performed certain state functions, such as registering teachers, prosecuting criminals, issuing license plates, assessing and collecting property taxes, and providing public assistance for the needy.

The county's role has evolved over time. For example, since 1980 public welfare has been transferred to the state from the counties. Another example is the elimination of the county school superintendent position as unnecessary.

An additional and very important role was added in the 1970s, when it made county government responsible for mental health proceedings. (See elsewhere on this page for more information regarding this function.)

Other Roles

There are various elected and appointed county officials who perform the tasks assigned to county government. It is the responsibility of the Civil Division of the County Attorney's Office to provide legal services to both the officials of Sarpy County and the county itself as a separate entity.

This may involve interpreting a statute or providing counsel for an official. It also includes workers compensation matters, claims brought under the Subdivisions Tort Claims Act, zoning and annexation challenges and issues facing the County Board of Commissioners.

The County Attorney represents the county in collecting the county's share of estate and inheritance taxes under Nebraska law. As stated earlier, in mental health proceedings the county plays a significant role in maintaining the health, welfare and safety of both the individual and the public at large.

In short, the potential scope of representation by and for Sarpy County is virtually without limit.