Nebraska Revised Statute 71-954
Subject's rights; confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses and evidence.
A subject shall have the right at a hearing held under the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act or the Sex Offender Commitment Act to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses and evidence equivalent to the rights of confrontation granted by Amendments VI and XIV of the United States Constitution and Article I, section 11, of the Constitution of Nebraska.
Laws 1976, LB 806, § 68;
Laws 1981, LB 95, § 22;
Laws 2000, LB 884, § 16;
R.S.Supp.,2002, § 83-1058;
Laws 2004, LB 1083, § 74;
Laws 2006, LB 1199, § 46.
Sex Offender Commitment Act, see section 71-1201.
Pursuant to this section, the subject of a petition under the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act has the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses and evidence equivalent to the rights granted under the Confrontation Clauses of the U.S. and Nebraska Constitutions. In the absence of a waiver by the subject of a petition for commitment of his or her right to confrontation, in order to admit the telephonic testimony of a mental health professional during a civil commitment hearing, the State must demonstrate that (1) such testimony is necessary to further an important public policy and (2) the mental health professional is truly unavailable as a witness, thus necessitating telephonic testimony. The requirements of a demonstration of an important public policy and necessity are conjunctive, and the absence of a demonstration of either precludes the admission of the telephonic testimony. In re Interest of S.B., 263 Neb. 175, 639 N.W.2d 78 (2002).