In re Interest of Nedhal A.

Appellant, a juvenile, was charged with committing criminal mischief for damaging the property of Cedars Teaching, Learning, & Connecting group home (Cedars Home) while she was a participant in its program. While the charges were pending final disposition, Appellant ran away from other placements several times. Although another group home accepted Appellant at its location, the juvenile court ordered intensive supervised probation at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC), pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-286(1)(b)(ii), finding that all levels of probation supervision and options for community-based services had been exhausted and that intensive supervised probation was appropriate. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 43-286 requires that before a juvenile is placed in YRTC, the Office of Probation Administration must consider what would be a reliable alternative to commitment at YRTC and report its findings to the court; and (2) applying section 43-286 to the present case, Appellant’s placement at YRTC was premature. Remanded.View "In re Interest of Nedhal A." on Justia Law

In re Guardianship of Benjamin E.

Rhonda was the mother and sole surviving parent of Benjamin, a twenty-two-year-old incapacitated adult. Rhonda filed a petition for the appointment of a guardian for Benjamin and nominated herself as guardian. The county court appointed an unrelated individual as Benjamin’s guardian without making findings or providing an explanation for passing over Rhonda. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the appointment was arbitrary and capricious, as the county court appointed the unrelated individual as Benjamin’s guardian without specific findings, any explanation for bypassing Rhonda’s statutory priority for appointment, or any reason readily apparent in the evidentiary record.View "In re Guardianship of Benjamin E." on Justia Law

In re Estate of Stuchlik

Edward Stuchlik died testate and was survived by his wife, Margaret Stuchlik, and five children, including John Stuchlik and Kenneth Stuchlik. John sought removal of Margaret as the personal representative of the Edward Stuchlik estate and removal of Margaret and Kenneth as cotrustees of the Edward Stuchlik Family Trust. John asked the court to appoint him as personal representative and trustee in their place. The county court entered judgment in favor of Margaret and Kenneth. The Supreme Court affirmed in most respects and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) because Margaret was waiting to be discharged as personal representative pending the outcome of this action, any action for her removal as personal representative was without merit; (2) John’s arguments that Margaret and Kenneth should be removed as costrustees based on a theory of a contract for wills or an oral trust between Margaret and Edward were irrelevant to the petition to remove a costrustee; but (3) the court erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to consider allegations pertaining to the extent Margaret’s and Kenneth’s activities as general partners of a partnership related to their fitness as costrustees.View "In re Estate of Stuchlik" on Justia Law

O’Brien v. Bellevue Pub. Schs.

Appellant filed a complaint in the district court against Bellevue Public Schools (BPS), alleging that he was fired as an employee of BPS in retaliation for reporting to his superiors the presence, demolition, and removal of asbestos-containing materials at the middle school where he worked. The district court granted summary judgment for BPS. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that BPS was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Appellant failed to present evidence of a genuine issue of material fact that the permissible reason of poor job performance articulated by BPS for his termination was a pretext for an impermissible termination.View "O’Brien v. Bellevue Pub. Schs." on Justia Law

Damme v. Pike Enters., Inc.

In 2009, Patricia Damme injured her low back in a workplace accident. In 2013, Damme underwent surgery on her back. The surgery was a success. The Workers’ Compensation Court awarded Damme temporary total disability benefits from 2009 to 2013 and future medical care. Damme’s employer, Pike Enterprises, Inc. appealed, arguing, among other things, that the 2009 incident was not an injury but a “temporary symptom aggravation” of Damme’s preexisting back problems. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Workers’ Compensation Court did not err in (1) finding a causal relationship between the work-related injury Damme sustained in 2009 and the 2013 surgery; (2) determining that Damme’s 2013 surgery was reasonably necessary to treat her physical condition and pain symptoms; (3) finding that after her injury, Damme could not work until the surgeon who performed the surgery released her to return to work; (4) determining that Damme’s incarceration was not an event that barred her receipt of temporary total disability disability benefits; and (5) awarding nonspecified future medical benefits.View "Damme v. Pike Enters., Inc." on Justia Law

Linda N. v. William N.

Mother, on behalf of her minor child, filed a petition for a domestic abuse protection order against Father. The district court issued an ex parte domestic abuse protection order. The evidence against Father included text messages with vulgar language and name calling. Upon a show cause hearing on the ex parte order, the district court upheld its domestic abuse protection order. Both parties appealed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court incorrectly granted a domestic abuse protection order, as Father’s conduct did not fit within the statutory definition of “abuse”; and (2) because the case was tried on the domestic abuse theory, Mother could not change to a harassment theory on appeal.View "Linda N. v. William N." on Justia Law

State v. Banks

In 2007, Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Supreme Court affirmed. In 2011, Appellant filed a pro se motion for postconviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. The district court overruled Appellant’s motion in an order issued in 2012. Appellant then filed an amended pro se motion for postconviction relief, again alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court overruled the motion without holding an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Court lacked jurisdiction to consider any assignments of error related to the claims that were denied in the 2012 order; and (2) the district court did not err in denying Appellant’s amended motion without an evidentiary hearing.View "State v. Banks" on Justia Law

State v. Herrera

In 2012, Father and Mother, the biological parents A.H. and S.H, were charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury to A.H. After a consolidated jury trial, the parents were convicted of the lesser-included offense of child abuse. Father appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in (1) receiving expert testimony of A.H.’s psychosocial short stature diagnosis over Father’s Daubert/Schaftersman objection, as the evidence was relevant, and the probative value of the experts’ opinions was not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice; (2) ruling that the recorded interviews conducted of A.H. and S.H. in 2009 and 2011 were not admissible under Neb. Rev. Stat. 27-803(3) and because they contained hearsay; and (3) receiving evidence relating to the nonaccidental injuries sustained by A.H. in 2005.View "State v. Herrera" on Justia Law

City of Beatrice v. Meints

A city code enforcement officer entered Appellant’s urban property, which was unfenced and uninhabited, without a warrant to investigate numerous motor vehicles and motorcycles without license plates or vehicles that were inoperable. Appellant was subsequently convicted of multiple violations of a municipal ordinance relating to unregistered motor vehicles. On appeal, the district court reversed Appellant’s convictions on two of the twelve counts and otherwise affirmed. Appellant appealed, arguing that the officer violated his Fourth Amendment rights by entering his property without a warrant. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that a warrantless search of Appellant’s real property occurred but that the search was reasonable under the probable cause exception to the warrant requirement. The Supreme Court affirmed on different grounds, holding (1) probable cause does not justify a warrantless search of real property; but (2) under the open fields doctrine, there was no search in this case for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.View "City of Beatrice v. Meints" on Justia Law

Anthony K. v. Neb. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs.

Plaintiffs, individually and as guardians and next friends on behalf of their seven minor children, sued the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), several DHHS employees in their official and individual capacities, and the children’s guardian ad litem, alleging that over the course of the juvenile proceedings involving their oldest three children, Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights had been violated. The district court sustained Defendants’ motions do dismiss, concluding (1) Defendants were entitled to sovereign, qualified, absolute, and statutory immunities; and (2) Plaintiffs’ claims against the DHHS employees in their individual capacities were barred by the statute of limitations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err in dismissing the claims against the DHHS, the DHHS employees in their official capacities, and the guardian ad litem on the basis that they were immune from Plaintiffs’ section 1983 claims; and (2) did not err in dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims against the DHHS employees in their individual capacities on the grounds that the claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations.View "Anthony K. v. Neb. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs." on Justia Law