Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

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Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff brought this personal injury action against the City of Gering and Scotts Bluff County under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. The City and the County admitted liability, leaving Plaintiff’s claim for damages the only matter at issue in the ensuing bench trial. After the trial, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $575,203. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) issues related to Defendants’ motion to compel discovery were reviewable in this appeal; (2) the district court did not err when it sustained hearsay objections to evidence offered in support of the motion to compel; (3) the district court did not err when it overruled the motion to continue the trial in order to allow discovery; (4) the district court was not clearly wrong in its findings that Plaintiff’s condition was caused by the accident and that a surgery performed on Plaintiff was necessary; and (5) the district court did not err when it awarded damages related to the challenged surgery. View "Moreno v. City of Gering" on Justia Law
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U.S. Bank was a senior lien holder on certain property, and First Nebraska Educators Credit Union’s interest was junior to U.S. Bank’s. After a foreclosure sale, First Nebraska filed suit, alleging that because it did not receive notice of the sale, it was not able to bid on the property, and its second lien interest was extinguished with the sale of the property. The district court granted U.S. Bank’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, concluding that First Nebraska was not entitled to notice. At issue on appeal was whether U.S. Bank was required to mail a notice of sale to First Nebraska under Neb. Rev. Stat. 76-1008. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that U.S. Bank was not required to serve notice of foreclosure sale upon First Nebraska. View "First Neb. Educators Credit Union v. U.S. Bancorp" on Justia Law

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Appellant was convicted of two counts of attempted robbery and was sentenced to concurrent terms of fifteen to twenty-five years in prison. Appellant later filed a petition for postconviction relief. Along with his petition, Appellant filed a motion for leave to file the petition out of time, alleging that he was unable to file his petition for postconviction relief within the applicable one-year limitation period because the prison where he was being housed was locked down for a period of time, and he was not allowed access to the prison law library for five weeks. The district court dismissed Appellant’s petition as untimely, finding that the lockdown did not prevent Appellant from filing his petition within the one-year limitation period. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that any impediment created by the lockdown did not, as a matter of law, prevent Appellant from filing his postconviction action. View "State v. Shannon" on Justia Law
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After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty of murder in the second degree and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s convictions and sentences. Appellant’s first petition for postconviction relief was unsuccessful. Appellant then filed a second motion for postconviction relief, claiming that his constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment was violated when he received a sentence of the functional equivalent of life for an offense he committed when he was a juvenile. The district court denied the motion without holding an evidentiary hearing, determining that Appellant’s motion was barred by the limitation period found in the Nebraska Postconviction Act. The Supreme Court affirmed, albeit for different reasons, holding that Appellant’s second motion for posconviction relief was barred as untimely under 29-3001(4)(d). View "State v. Goynes" on Justia Law
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Kevin Pearce (Appellant) worked as an agent of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. Appellant used his personal computers to conduct work for Mutual and stored both personal and client information on the computers. After Appellant’s agency relationship was terminated, Mutual retained Pearce’s personal computers and files, allegedly to protect confidential client information. Pearce refused to give Mutual the passwords to his computers, and Mutual refused to return the computers until the confidential information was removed. Mutual turned Pearce’s computers and files over to Continuum Worldwide Corporation, a security firm, for safekeeping. Appellant then filed a replevin action against Mutual and Continuum (Appellees). Appellees filed a motion to stay and compel arbitration asking the district court to order Appellant to participate in an already-filed arbitration with another entity related to the same issues. Appellant filed his own motion to compel arbitration in the replevin action seeking an order requiring Appellees to participate in the pending arbitration underway between Appellant and the third party. The district court denied Appellant’s motion to compel arbitration. Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the interlocutory appeal, holding that the order denying Appellant’s motion to compel arbitration was not a final, appealable order for the Court to review. View "Pearce v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co." on Justia Law

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Defendant was found guilty in county court of driving under the influence and was sentenced to six months’ probation. Defendant appealed, challenging the denial of his motion to suppress. The district court affirmed the conviction and sentence. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the police did not act reasonably in stopping Defendant, and therefore, the stop was unconstitutional under Brown v. Texas. The Supreme Court granted the State’s petition for further review. The Court then reversed, holding that the stop was reasonable under Brown, and the court of appeals erred in its balancing of the Brown factors. View "State v. Woldt" on Justia Law

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Petitioner was convicted of burglary and found to be a habitual criminal. Petitioner was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of ten to fifteen years’ imprisonment. Petitioner was erroneously discharged from the custody of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services prior to completing his lawful sentence. Petitioner was subsequently taken back into custody. Petitioner petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the Department’s continuing exercise of custody. The district court dismissed the habeas petition with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Petitioner failed to show that he completed the terms of his sentence and that he was being illegally detained. View "Evans v. Frakes" on Justia Law
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Petitioner was convicted of possession of a deadly weapon by a felon and found to be a habitual criminal. Defendant was sentenced to ten to fifteen years’ imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment due to the habitual criminal enhancement. Petitioner was erroneously discharged from the custody of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services prior to completing his lawful sentence. Petitioner was subsequently taken back into custody. Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the Department’s continuing exercise of custody. The district court dismissed the habeas petition with prejudice. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as moot because Petitioner has since been mandatorily discharged and is no longer in the custody of the Department. View "Al-Ameen v. Frakes" on Justia Law
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Appellant sustained injuries in an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. Appellant filed a petition in the workers’ compensation court seeking temporary and permanent disability benefits. The compensation court awarded Appellant temporary total disability benefits for the period from August 10, 2010 to December 8, 2010 and permanent total disability benefits starting May 2, 2014. The court declined to award Appellant future medical expenses, penalties, attorney fees, or interest. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the compensation court (1) did not commit reversible error in excluding the deposition of a doctor that had been taken in connection with a separate negligence action; (2) did not err when it did not award future medical expenses; but (3) erred in denying temporary total disability benefits for the period from December 9, 2010 through May 1, 2014 without providing an explanation which formed the basis for its ruling. Remanded. View "Tchikobava v. Albatross Express, LLC" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of second degree murder. Defendant was fifteen years old at the time of the murder. The district court sentenced Defendant to imprisonment for sixty years to life. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence, holding (1) the district court properly instructed the jury that it would be required to deliberate until 9 p.m. before it could break for the day; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it overruled Defendant’s motion for a new trial based on alleged juror misconduct; and (3) the sentencing process complied with proper juvenile sentencing principles, and the court did not impose an excessive sentence. View "State v. Cardeilhac" on Justia Law