State v. McColery (Nebraska 2018)

301 Neb. 516 (2018)
November 2018

Appearance bond funds held by a clerk of court are not personal property registered with a county office for purposes of the child support lien statute. An automatic lien does not attach to these funds. A father, who owed child support arrears, was arrested for strangulation. He posted an appearance bond. He hired private counsel and as part of his attorney’s compensation, he assigned the bond funds. The attorney filed the assignment with the county clerk. Subsequently, the child support program also filed a lien against the funds. After an initial appeal, the District Court ordered the funds be paid to the child support program. The attorney appealed. The Nebraska Supreme Court found that an appearance bond is not registered personal property subject to an automatic lien for child support. The State argued for a broad definition of registered, which the Court did not adopt.