by
The Supreme Court affirmed the finding of the Workers’ Compensation Court that Employee, who was injured during the course and scope of her employment, had reached maximum medical improvement prior to the stroke she suffered approximately three weeks after she filed her petition in the compensation court seeking temporary and permanent disability benefits and the compensation court’s award of permanent total disability, holding that the compensation court did not err. The stroke suffered by Employee was unrelated to her work injury or treatment and left Employee largely incapacitated. The compensation court awarded Employee permanent total disability benefits, thus rejecting Employer’s contention that the occurrence of the stroke relieved Employer of the ongoing responsibility to pay total disability benefits. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the compensation court did not err in (1) finding Employee reached maximum medical improvement prior to her stroke; (2) finding Employee was permanently and totally disabled; and (3) finding the stroke had no impact on Employee’s entitlement to ongoing permanent total disability benefits. View "Krause v. Five Star Quality Care, Inc." on Justia Law

by
In this challenge related to a decedent’s estate the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the county court determining that the evidence was insufficient to prove damages for the conversion of estate property allegedly caused by the personal representative who was removed for breaches of fiduciary duties. On appeal, the designees of the decedent’s estate argued that the county court erred by not (1) awarding damages for the former personal representative’s conversion, damage, or loss of property; (2) awarding fees to the successor personal representative personally against the former representative by way of surcharge; (3) awarding attorney fees and costs personally against the former representative by way of surcharge; (4) imposing sanctions against the former representative or his attorney for the destruction of a deed of conveyance of real estate; and (5) receiving into evidence a certain exhibit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion in the proceedings below. View "In re Estate of Graham" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Appellant’s second motion for postconvcition relief, holding that Appellant’s second motion was barred by the limitation period set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3001(4). Appellant was convicted of second degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. After unsuccessfully seeking relief in his first postconviction motion, Appellant filed a second motion for postconviction relief setting forth three grounds for relief. The district court denied Appellant’s request for an evidentiary hearing and sustained the State’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant’s second motion for postconviction relief was barred by the time limitation of section 29-3001(4). View "State v. Edwards" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without an evidentiary hearing, holding that Appellant’s postconviction motion failed to state a claim for relief. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony in the shooting of a police officer. Appellant later filed an amended motion for postconviction relief, alleging that he was denied the right to a fair trial, ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and newly discovered evidence. The district court denied the motion, finding that Appellant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of postconviction relief as to all of Appellant’s assignments of error, holding that Appellant’s claims were without merit. View "State v. Allen" on Justia Law

by
At issue in this appeal was whether the statutory scheme regulating intrastate motor carriers imputes an employer-employee relationship between a general contractor and a subcontracting motor carrier’s employee for purposes of vicarious liability under respondent superior. The employee of a registered motor carrier caused an accident while returning the motor carrier’s truck after delivering the final load of the day under a contract between the motor carrier and a general contractor, also a registered motor carrier. The representative of the injured party sued the the driver, the driver’s employer, and the general contractor. The trial court granted summary judgment for the general contractor. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the driver was not a common law employee or a statutory employee of the general contractor for purposes of vicarious liability under respondeat superior; and (2) the general contractor was not liable under any of the exceptions to a general contractor’s nonliability for the acts or omissions of an independent contractor. View "Cruz v. Lopez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

by
The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s finding that the State had a lien on an appearance bond deposit assigned to a debtor’s former attorney, holding that appearance bond funds are not personal property “registered” with a “county office” as required for a lien under Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-371. This appeal related to an order in garnishment enforcing a statutory lien by the State for $18,000 in past-due child support against an appearance bond deposit in the amount of $4,500 held by the clerk of the court in a criminal case unrelated to the child support matter. For payment for the attorney’s services the debtor had assigned to his attorney his contingent right to a return of the bond deposit. During the garnishment proceedings, the attorney filed a motion to quash, arguing that depositing a bond is not “registering” and that the county court is not a “county office” under section 42-371. The district court disagreed and ordered that the bond funds being held by the court be credited against the debtor’s child support arrears. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the bond deposit was not “registered personal property” under the statute. View "State v. McColery" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of first-degree murder murder and second-degree arson and the sentences imposed in connection with the convictions, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and that Defendnat's trial counsel was not ineffective. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence at trial was insufficient to prove the elements of her convictions and that her trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in eight respects. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and that the record refuted Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance. View "State v. Golyar" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of driving under the influence, fifth offense, two counts of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, and other offenses but vacated the sentences imposed, holding that the district court committed plain error in sentencing Defendant. Specifically, the Court held that the district court (1) did not err in denying Defendant’s motions to recuse, suppress blood test results, and exclude blood test results under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978); but (2) committed plain error in sentencing Defendant to license revocations for his convictions for three counts and in sentencing Defendant to determinate sentences, rather than indeterminate sentences, for four counts. View "State v. Thompson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the Court of Appeals denying Paul Gerber’s motion seeking to recover attorney fees from P & L Finance Co., Inc., holding that, while the pleading was styled as a “Motion for Attorney Fees,” Gerber’s request for attorney fees was, in substance, an application under Neb. Rev. Stat. 21-2,114 for an order of indemnification from P & L. In his filing, Gerber sought an order requiring P & L to indemnify him for attorney fees he incurred in the appeal of a case where he was made a party because he was a director of P & L. In denying the request, the Court of Appeals stated that there was no course of practice in the appellate courts that recognizes the recovery of attorney fees from a non-adverse party. The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the Court of Appeals with directions to consider Gerber’s filing consistent with section 21-2,114 as an application for an order of indemnification against P & L, holding that the appellate court should have considered the filing as an application for indemnification. View "Gerber v. P & L Finance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
In vacating the adoption decree in this case, the Supreme Court addressed the proper interpretation of the relevant adoption statutes, as well as the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (NICWA), and whether Father abandoned his child, holding that the county court erred when it failed to comply with Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-107 to 43-109 when granting the adoption. On remand from the Supreme Court, the county court found that the petitioning grandparents (Grandparents) had made active efforts to prove remedial programs designed to unite Father with his Indian child under section 43-1505(4) and that Father had abandoned his child. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the adoption decree, holding (1) the county court did not err in finding by clear and convincing evidence that Grandparents made active efforts to reunite the child with Father, in finding that Father abandoned his child for at least six months prior to his incarceration, and in finding that adoption was in the child’s best interest; but (2) the county court erroneously failed to comply with sections 43-107 to 43-109 in granting the adoption. View "In re Adoption of Micah H." on Justia Law