Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and reversed in part the decision of the district court determining the fair value of an estate's 14.84 percent of common stock in a family-owned business, holding that the district court erred in its determination of the fair value of the company.After Leonard and Marlene Benes, the owners of the company, died, the personal representative of Marlene's estate filed a petition for dissolution, and the company responded with an election to purchase in lieu of dissolution. The trial court found that the fair value of 14.84 percent of the company was worth $2,886,790 and declined to award Plaintiff expenses, attorneys fees, or prejudgment interest. The Supreme Court remanded the case in part, holding (1) the district court did not use the correct definition and subjected the estate's shares to discounts, and therefore, the court erred in its determination of the fair value of BSC; and (2) the court correctly denied attorneys fees and other expenses. View "Bohac v. Benes Service Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of disturbing the peace and of assault or menacing threats, both in violation of city ordinances in Lincoln, Nebraska, holding that there was no error in Defendant's convictions or sentences.Defendant's conviction arose from his acts of shouting in a loud, menacing, and persistent manner from his apartment's balcony at persons across the street. Defendant appealed his convictions and their resulting ten-day jail sentences. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) even if Defendant's speech was constitutionally protected, the State may regulate it through reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of speech; and (2) Defendant's conviction for assault or menacing threats was supported by sufficient evidence. View "State v. Grant" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Defendant's motion for default judgment and the dismissal of his motions seeking postconviction relief, holding that there was no error.Defendant was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Defendant later sought postconviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel and then filed a pro se motion for default judgment. The district court denied the motions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no merit to Defendant's first and second assignments of error with regard to the denial of his motion for default judgment; and (2) the district court did not err in dismissing Defendant's second amended motion for postconviction relief. View "State v. Burries" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the juvenile court placing physical custody of B.C. with Mother, from whom B.C. had initially been taken, holding that there was no error.B.C. was removed from Mother's home pending adjudication in proceedings following a petition alleging child endangerment. The juvenile court later granted the Department of Health and Human Services' motion for a placement change and ordered that the physical custody of B.C. be placed with Mother upon her completion of certain conditions. The juvenile court also considered and overruled Father's motion for legal custody and placement of B.C. Father appealed, arguing that the order exceeded the juvenile court's authority. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the juvenile court's order placing B.C. with Mother pursuant to the terms of a transition plan were consistent with this Court's opinion and mandate. View "In re Interest of A.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court dismissing for lack of subject matter jurisdiction Main St Properties LLC's (MSP) complaint seeking to enjoin a zoning ordinance adopted by the city council for the City of Bellevue, holding that the court erred in dismissing MSP's complaint.After MSP received a notice of zoning violation MSP appealed to the board of adjustment, which upheld the zoning violation. While MSP's appeal was pending, the city council approved an ordinance to rezone MSP's property. MSP then filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the City. The district court granted the City's motion to dismiss, concluding that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because MSP failed to file a petition in error. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding that the complaint was sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. View "Main St Properties LLC v. City of Bellevue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for two counts of child enticement and one count of tampering with a witness but vacated Defendant's sentence for witness tampering, holding that Defendant's sentence for witness tampering was error and that Defendant's remaining assignments of error were without merit.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) there was no plain error in the opening, closing, and rebuttal statements by the prosecutor; (2) the district court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on the absence of permission as an element of Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-311(2)(a); (3) Defendant's sentence for witness tampering was error, and the sentence should be vacated and the cause remanded for resentencing under a post-Neb. Laws, L.B. 605 law; and (4) there was no merit to Defendant's claim that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to dismiss on grounds that Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-311(1)(b) was unconstitutional as applied to Defendant. View "State v. Kipple" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion for postconviction relief, holding that because Appellant did not file his motion for postconviction relief within the relevant limitation period and could have done so, the district court did not err in denying relief.Appellant was convicted of murder in the first degree and other crimes. More than three years after Appellant's direct appeal concluded Appellant moved for postconviction relief. The district court denied the motion as untimely filed. Appellant appealed, arguing that the relevant one-year limitation period contained in Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3001(4) for filing a postconviction motion should be either be tolled during the pendency of his motion for new trial or should be equitably tolled. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 29-3001(4) did not provide for tolling under the circumstances; and (2) even if the doctrine of equitable tolling could apply in a postconviction proceeding, the circumstances of this case did not support its application. View "State v. Hill" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court that denied Christina C.'s application to modify child custody of her daughter, Daphnie F., holding that the district court's order did not follow the framework set forth in State on behalf of Tina K. v. Adam B., 948 N.W.2d 182 (Neb. 2020).Pursuant to a Colorado custody order, Daphnie was placed in the permanent custody of her paternal grandparents. Christina filed a motion to modify, arguing that she was a fit biological parent who had a right to custody of her child that was superior to that of the child's grandparents standing in loco parentis. The district court denied Christina's motion for new trial. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court's findings and reasoning were not sufficient under the correct standard set forth in State on behalf of Tina K. View "State ex rel. Daphnie F. v. Christina C." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court that instructed a receiver to continue its management of agricultural land, in which Appellants, the testator's children, each held fractional life estates along with the testator's surviving spouse, holding that it was too late to attack the receiver's appointment.In 2019, the court appointed a receiver. In 2021, the court provided further instructions to the receiver. Appellants appealed, arguing that the district court appointed a receiver for 2021 without either party requesting the appointment and without deciding that a receiver was needed or necessary. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the receiver was appointed in 2019, not 2021, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in its instructions to the receiver. View "Seid v. Seid" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of attempted false information on a gun permit application, holding that neither of the two questions of law raised by Defendant had merit.On appeal, Defendant argued that there was insufficient evidence to support her conviction because the alleged false information was not about her name, address, date of birth, or country of citizenship and because she was confused about "informations" versus "complaints." The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime of attempted false information on a gun permit application. View "State v. Hofmann" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law