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In these postconviction proceedings, the Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court on remand from the Supreme Court, holding that the district court misinterpreted the directions on remand and entered an order that exceeded the scope of the Supreme Court’s mandate. On Appellant’s first appeal from postconviction proceedings before the district court, Appellant alleged that his trial attorneys were ineffective. The district court denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the cause for further proceedings. On appeal, the district court issued an order finding that the “sole” issue for evidentiary hearing was whether Appellant’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a direct appeal. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the order entered by the district court on remand was void because it attempted to affect rights and duties outside the scope of remand. View "State v. Payne" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed, as modified by this opinion, the order of the district court dissolving Brian Osantowski’s marriage to Dori Ann Osantowski, dividing the martial assets and debts, and ordering Brian to make an equalization payment of $680,000, distributing the estate about equally. The Supreme Court held (1) contrary to Brian’s argument on appeal, the district court’s decision that stored and growing crops should not be treated the same as cattle herds for tracing purposes was not in error; but (2) the district court committed an abuse of discretion and plain error in its division of certain marital assets and debts. View "Osantowski v. Osantowski" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting the State’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for damages under the Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act, holding that Plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead a claim of actual innocence. Defendant was convicted of attempted first degree sexual assault and attempted third degree sexual assault of a minor. The court of appeals reversed Defendant’s convictions and remanded the cause for a new trial. While the state sought further review, Defendant completed his prison sentence. Defendant subsequently filed this claim alleging that he had been entrapped. The district court granted the State’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the affirmative defense of entrapment is legally insufficient to show actual innocence as opposed to legal innocence, which is a required element of a wrongful conviction claim. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals, holding that Defendant failed sufficiently to allege facts to support a finding of actual innocence. View "Nadeem v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s sentence of forty-five days’ jail time and six months’ probation and revocation of her license for one year connected to her plea of guilty to first-offense driving during revocation. The district court affirmed the sentence. Defendant appealed the revocation portion of her sentence to the Supreme Court. While her appeal was pending, 2017 Neb. Laws, L.B. 263 went into effect, which amended Neb. Rev. Stat. 60-4,108 to allow the sentencing court discretion in ordering a revocation for first-time offenders when the offender has been placed on probation. The Supreme Court remanded the cause with directions to remand it to the county court of resentencing consistent with the amended version of section 60-4,108, holding that the amended version of section 60-4,108 applies retroactively to Defendant’s sentence. View "State v. Huston" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the decision of the juvenile court finding allegations of domestic violence to be true, adjudicating Father’s child on those grounds, and ordering Father to undergo evaluations and to participate in an accredited domestic violence program. The court held (1) the juvenile court erred in finding sufficient evidence that Father’s faults or habits placed the children at risk for harm; (2) the district court erred in taking judicial notice of disputed adjudicative facts; (3) the district court erred in failing to provide notice and a hearing for disposition; and (4) the remainder of Father’s arguments were without merit. View "In re Interest of Lilly S." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court concluding that the Nebraska Department of Labor’s action intercepting Appellee’s tax refund from the state to partially pay a judgment determining that Appellee had been overpaid for unemployment benefits was barred by the relevant statute of limitations. An appeal tribunal, citing Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-218, concluded that the Department’s action was barred by a four-year statute of limitations. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court held that there was no time limitation barring the Department’s interception of Appellee’s state income tax refund to offset his unemployment benefit overpayment under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-665(1)(c) and therefore reversed. View "McCoy v. Albin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial, without an evidentiary hearing, of Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief. In his motion, Appellant alleged that counsel was ineffective in several respects. After he was denied relief, Appellant appealed, arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective in various ways and that the district court erred in denying his motion for postconviction relief without a hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err when it determined that Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief did not allege facts that constituted a denial of his constitutional rights and accordingly denied the motion. View "State v. Custer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court decreeing that a residence be repainted from a blue color to an earth tone after the homeowners association sued to enforce restrictive covenants. The Homeowners appealed, arguing that the plain language of the restrictive covenants did not control the color of repainting. The Supreme Court agreed, holding (1) the restrictive covenants at issue were not ambiguous and did not apply to the Homeowners’ repainting of their residence; and (2) the Homeowners did not, therefore, violate any restrictive covenants when they repainted their residence without first seeking and acquiring approval from the developer. View "Estates at Prairie Ridge Homeowners Ass’n v. Korth" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for unlawful discharge of a firearm and use of a weapon to commit a felony, holding that the district court did not err when it denied Defendant a new trial based on his allegations of juror misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct. Specifically, Defendant alleged juror misconduct relating to jurors’ viewing a mirror image of a surveillance video and prosecutorial misconduct relating to the prosecutor’s comments regarding potential testimony in Defendant’s defense. The Supreme Court held that the district court (1) did not err when it denied an evidentiary hearing on Defendant’s allegations of juror misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct; and (2) did not abuse its discretion when it overruled Defendant’s motion for a new trial on such bases. View "State v. Hairston" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Petitioner’s petition for a writ of prohibition, holding that there was no merit to Petitioner’s assignment of error. Petitioner pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol, first offense, as verbally amended. Prior to sentencing, Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of prohibition with the district court asking that the court restrain the county court from sentencing him in the underlying case on the ground that there was an insufficient factual basis to support his plea. Petitioner’s petition for a writ was denied. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Petitioner failed to meet the standards for the issuance of a writ of prohibition. View "Zeleny v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law