United Gen. Title Ins. Co. v. Malone

Improper transfers were made from a title insurance agent’s escrow account. The agent’s principal, United General Title Insurance Company, paid the loss and then sued to recover the loss from multiple entities and persons, including recipients of the transferred funds. United General recovered judgment against some entities and persons, but summary judgment was entered against it on various claims. After a jury trial, several recipients of the transferred funds successfully defended the action on the remaining issues. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) the district court correctly granted summary judgment, with the exception of United General’s claims for conversion and a constructive trust; (2) there was no merit to the alleged errors that United General asserted occurred at trials; and (3) after trial, the district court correctly granted a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. View "United Gen. Title Ins. Co. v. Malone" on Justia Law

Board of Trustees v. City of Omaha

Pursuant to the City of Omaha’s home rule charter, the Omaha City Council enacted an ordinance creating the City of Omaha Police and Fire Retirement System (System), which was administered by a board of trustees. The board commenced this declaratory judgment action against the City asking the district court to construe Omaha’s home rule charter and applicable ordinances to authorize the board to retain an actuarial consultant and private legal counsel at city expense. The district court granted summary judgment for the board. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified as to the issue of the board’s authority to retain consultants and reversed and vacated the portion of the judgment declaring that the board had discretion to hire independent legal counsel whenever it deemed such retention to be necessary, holding (1) the district court lacked jurisdiction to determine the authority of the board to retain outside consultants other than an actuary; but (2) the court did not err in determining that the board had legal authority to retain an actuary to undertake a study of disability benefits paid from the System’s trust fund and that the cost of such a study is an administrative expense payable by appropriation from the City’s general fund. View "Board of Trustees v. City of Omaha" on Justia Law

Marion’s Quality Servs., Inc. v. Neb. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs.

Marion’s Quality Services, Inc. was a Nebraska corporation doing business as It’s a Kidz World Child Care Center (Center) and as Deb’s Learning Place Family Child Care Home II (Home). In 2012, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a state agency responsible for the enforcement of the Child Care Licensing Act, revoked Marion’s licenses to operate the Center and the Home. Marion’s submitted an administrative appeal, and the cases were consolidated. After an administrative appeal hearing, DHHS upheld the revocation of the license for the Home but reversed the revocation of the Center’s license. In lieu of revocation of the license, DHHS imposed an alternative penalty in the form of additional probation and a civil penalty. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court’s ruling upholding DHHS’ findings regarding the Center’s license was supported by competent evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable; and (2) the district court’s ruling upholding DHHS’ findings regarding the Home’s license was supported by competent evidence, conformed to the law, and was not arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise unreasonable. View "Marion’s Quality Servs., Inc. v. Neb. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs." on Justia Law

State v. Loyuk

After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree sexual abuse of an inmate or parolee for having sex with a parolee while he was employed as an officer by the Department of Correctional Services. Defendant appealed, arguing, among other things, that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because it did not show that he had control over the parolee. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction; (2) Defendant’s conviction under the relevant statutes did not violate his rights to intimate association and equal protection; and (3) the district court adequately instructed the jury. View "State v. Loyuk" on Justia Law

Schwartz v. Schwartz

Upon dissolving the marriage of Mother and Father, the district court gave Father custody of the parties’ minor child. Father later moved to modify the amount of child support Mother paid, alleging that Mother’s income had materially increased. The district court increased Mother’s support obligation after allowing a deduction for Mother’s subsequent child and giving Mother a credit for the cost of health insurance premiums. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion by applying a deduction for Mother’s subsequent child; but (2) abused its discretion by giving Mother a credit for the amount that Mother paid for family health insurance coverage. Remanded. View "Schwartz v. Schwartz" on Justia Law

Gibbons Ranches, LLC v. Bailey

A Landlord leased separate properties to two different sets of Tenants using nearly identical written documents. This appeal concerned a dispute between the Landlord and Tenants regarding whether the leases were enforceable for their stated five-year terms or whether a clause providing for “annual review of rental rates” resulted in unenforceable “agreements to agree.” The Landlord sued the Tenants in separate actions, seeking a declaratory judgment to determine its rights under the leases. The district court concluded that the leases were valid and enforceable for their five-year terms. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding that the terms of the leases were clear and unambiguous and contemplated only an annual review without requiring an annual agreement. View "Gibbons Ranches, LLC v. Bailey" on Justia Law

Steinhausen v. HomeServices of Neb., Inc.

Plaintiff was a home inspector and the sole member of an LLC. Two years after Plaintiff inspected a house of the client of a real estate agent (“Agent”) affiliated with a brokerage firm (“Company”), the Agent sent an e-mail to the Company’s real estate agents and employees stating that Plaintiff was a “total idiot.” Plaintiff sued the Agent and the Company, alleging libel, false light invasion of privacy, and tortious interference with a business relationship or expectancy. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that a qualified privilege protected the e-mail and that the evidence failed to show that Plaintiff had a business relationship or expectancy with either the Agent or the Company. Defendant attempted to appeal for both himself and the LLC. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the district court did not err in its judgment regarding the claims asserted by Plaintiff in his personal capacity; and (2) the portion of the judgment as it related to the LLC must be vacated because, where Plaintiff was not licensed to practice law in Nebraska, his appeal for the LLC was a nullity. View "Steinhausen v. HomeServices of Neb., Inc." on Justia Law

Sanitary & Improvement Dist. No. 1 v. Adamy

Sanitary and Improvement District No. 1, Butler County, Nebraska (SID #1) filed two class action lawsuits in Cass County, Nebraska, alleging that various county treasurers unlawfully deducted an incorrect percentage of assessments of municipal improvements collected on behalf of SID #1 and other sanitary and improvement districts. The county treasurers filed motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted those motions, concluding that the sanitary and improvement districts are not municipal corporations and therefore do not create municipal improvements. SID #1 appealed. The Supreme Court consolidated the appeals and reversed, holding that SID #1 stated a cause of action because a sanitary and improvement district can levy municipal taxes and make municipal improvements. Remanded. View "Sanitary & Improvement Dist. No. 1 v. Adamy" on Justia Law

State v. Armendariz

Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of second degree murder and one count of use of a firearm to commit a felony. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Defendant subsequently filed this action for postconviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of trial and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. The district court denied relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court, holding that Defendant did not allege sufficient facts in his motion, if true, would entitle him to postconviction relief, and therefore, he was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims. View "State v. Armendariz" on Justia Law

Brothers v. Kimball County Hosp.

Bradly Brothers received medical treatment at Kimball County Hospital after suffering injuries in a single-vehicle accident. After a chiropractor subsequently discovered multiple fractures in Brothers’ finger, Brothers filed a tort claim pursuant to the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act and later filed a complaint against Kimball County, the Hospital, and a Physician. The district court dismissed the County and entered summary judgment for the Hospital and the Physician. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a county hospital is a separate legal entity from the county, and because the County in this case could have no liability under the facts alleged, any error by the district court in failing to allow Brothers to present evidence on the County’s motion to dismiss was harmless; and (2) the Hospital and Physician were properly dismissed due to Brothers’ failure to meet the Act’s filing requirements. View "Brothers v. Kimball County Hosp." on Justia Law