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Peter Bataillon

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Peter Bataillon
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Current Court Information:
Nebraska District 4
Title:   Judge
Active:   2000-2016
Chief:   2008-2009
Past position:   Attorney in private practice
Past term:   1977-2000
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Northwest Missouri State University, 1973
Law School:   Creighton University School of Law, 1977

Peter Bataillon is a district court judge for District 4, Nebraska. He has served in this position since 2000.[1][2] His current term expires in 2016.


Bataillon received his B.S. degree in business administration from Northwest Missouri State University in 1973. He was awarded a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1977.[1]


Awards and associations

  • Former chairman, Metro Right to Life[3]

In the news

Ethics complaint filed against Bataillon

Sue Ellen Wall, a Lincoln attorney, filed an ethics complaint against Bataillon over his handling of a case involving a 16-year-old girl who needed court approval to obtain an abortion without parental consent. (See Notable case below.) According to Wall, Bataillon's history of affiliation with anti-abortion groups made it impossible for him to decide the case on its merits. However, the Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications stated in a letter to Wall that it was not authorized to take action against a judge for their legal decisions. The Nebraska Court of Appeals and the Nebraska Supreme Court must determine whether a judge's decision follows state law.

The Nebraska Supreme Court issued a decision, on October 4, 2013, in the case, upholding Bataillon's ruling. The court indicated it could not consider the issue of bias on appeal, and said the parties should have raised the issue with Bataillon when he was hearing the case.[3]



Bataillon was retained to the 4th District with 66.46% of the vote in 2010.[4][5]

See also: Nebraska judicial elections, 2010

2012 judicial performance evaluation

Every two years, the Nebraska State Bar Association compiles responses from lawyers to evaluate judges in the state. Subjects are rated in seven categories: legal analysis; impartiality; attentiveness; opinions; judicial temperament and demeanor; appropriate communication; and timeliness. A recommendation on whether a judge should be retained is then made, based on the ratings.

89.6 percent of respondents stated Judge Bataillon should be retained in office. To read the full evaluation, see: Nebraska State Bar Association, 2012 Evaluation Results.

Notable cases

16-year-old denied abortion request

On October 4, 2013, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld Bataillon's decision to refuse a 16-year-old girl's request for an abortion. The girl, who is a ward of the state and under foster care, requested a court order for the abortion because she feared she would lose her placement if her foster parents found out about her pregnancy.[6]

The girl's attorney, Catherine Mahern, argued no consent was needed under Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services regulations, which provide: "if a ward decides to have an abortion, the consent of the parent(s) or Department is not required," though parental notification may be required.[7] Bataillon, who according to court records served on an anti-abortion committee called Metro Right to Life in the 1980's, refused to grant the request. During the court proceeding, he asked the girl whether or not she knew: "When you have the abortion, it's going to kill the child inside you."[7] Judge Bataillon then ruled the girl was not mature enough to make such a decision, and the foster parents would serve as guardians for the purposes of her case.[6]

"Probably the most disturbing aspect of this case was the judge's treatment of this young lady, referring to killing her baby. Who talks to a distressed 16-year-old girl like that?" stated Mahern, expressing her dismay regarding Judge Bataillon's decision.[7]

The 5-2 decision by the Nebraska Supreme Court confirmed Judge Bataillon's ruling, agreeing that the girl was not mature or well-informed enough to make such a decision on whether or not to have an abortion. The girl, who was initially placed in foster care because she suffered abuse in the custody of her biological parents, was also unable to prevail in her argument under the abuse exemption which would negate the parental consent requirement in cases where abuse was prevalent. The court found that the abuse exemption was inapplicable because the girl had not been able to prove that she had been abused by a parent or current guardian.[7]

Justices William Connolly and Michael McCormack dissented. Justice Connolly opined that the since the girl had no legal parents, she was unable to seek parental consent, and that the parental consent law could and should be constitutionally challenged as it was applied to wards of the state. In his dissenting opinion, Connolly wrote: "I realize that this conclusion means that none of the statutory exceptions apply and that under (the state law), the petitioner is prohibited from obtaining an abortion. An absolute ban on the petitioner's right to seek an abortion obviously raises constitutional concerns."[7]

See also

External links


NebraskaNebraska Supreme CourtNebraska Court of AppealsNebraska District CourtsNebraska County CourtsNebraska Separate Juvenile CourtsNebraska Workers' Compensation CourtNebraska Workers' Compensation CourtNebraska Problem-Solving CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of NebraskaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of NebraskaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitNebraska countiesNebraska judicial newsNebraska judicial electionsJudicial selection in NebraskaNebraskaTemplate.jpg