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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Barbara Hotz’s motion to modify the divorce judgment, holding that the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines excludes alimony between parents from their total monthly income for the purpose of calculating child support obligations for their children. In dissolving the parties’ marriage, the district court split custody of their children, ordered James Hotz to pay child support until the parties’ oldest child reached the age of majority, and awarded alimony to Barbara. Later, Barbara moved to modify the amount of child support that James paid. The court declined to include James’ alimony payments to Barbara in its calculation of the parties’ total monthly income for the purpose of recalculating child support obligations and abated part of Barbara’s child support obligations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court did not abuse its discretion in calculating the parties’ child support obligations or abating Barbara’s child support payments. View "Hotz v. Hotz" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s amended complaint against two religious organizations alleging fraudulent concealment, holding that the district court properly determined that Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. In her amended complaint, Plaintiff alleged that when she gave birth, Defendants kidnapped her newborn son and fraudulently concealed his adoption. The district court dismissed the amended complaint based upon the statute of limitations. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that her allegation of fraudulent concealment tolled the statute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Plaintiff failed particularly to allege fraudulent concealment, the statute of limitations did not toll. View "Chafin v. Wisconsin Province Society of Jesus" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence imposed by the district court for Defendant’s convictions of theft by deception, holding that the sentence and conditions set by the district court were within statutory limits. The district court sentenced Defendant to two years’ imprisonment and twelve months’ postrelease supervision. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court abused its discretion by failing to impose terms and conditions of postrelease supervision that could be served by Defendant while he was incarcerated in another state and were reasonably related to his rehabilitation. The Supreme Court held (1) Defendant waived the objections raised in his second argument; and (2) the sentence and conditions were not an abuse of discretion. View "State v. Shaull" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court affirming the judgment of the circuit court denying Defendant’s motion to suppress based upon the exclusionary rule’s good faith exception, holding that there was no plain error. After having submitted to a blood draw performed before the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota, __ U.S. __ (2016), Defendant was convicted for driving under the influence. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained from the traffic stop and warrantless blood draw, arguing that the exclusionary rule’s good faith exception did not apply in this case and that the State failed to raise the issue in the county court. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) this Court’s holding in State v. Hoerle, 901 N.W.2d 327 (2017), controls, and the district court did not err in performing its review for plain error; and (2) there was no plain error in applying the good faith exception to warrantless pre-Birchfield blood draws or in determining that the State raised the good faith exception. View "State v. Nielsen" on Justia Law

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In this action for indemnification, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court awarding Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. the full amount of settlement payments in a lawsuit brought by employees of ConAgra Foods, Inc. against Jacobs arising from an explosion at a ConAgra plant, holding that the district court’s judgment was not in error. ConAgra contracted with Jacobs, an engineering firm, to provide engineering services. The engineering agreement contained mutual indemnification provisions. After the explosion at the ConAgra plant, dozens of employees sued Jacobs. Jacobs sought contractual indemnification from ConAgra, but ConAgra declined. Jacobs defended against and settled the claims then sued ConAgra for indemnification. The jury awarded Jacobs $108.9 million, and the court entered judgment on the verdict. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in finding that Jacobs had standing as the real party in interest; (2) the court did not err in finding ConAgra’s workers’ compensation immunity inapplicable; (3) Jacobs established that ConAgra’s refusal to indemnify breached the parties’ contract; and (4) the court did not err in declining to reduce the jury’s award of damages. View "Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. v. ConAgra Foods, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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In this challenge to an initiative petition seeking to expand Medicaid coverage the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants, the named sponsors of the petition and the Secretary of State, holding that Appellants’ statutory and constitutional arguments were unavailing. Appellants sought to invalidate an initiative petition that received enough signatures to be placed on the November 2018 ballot. The district dismissed the complaint with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err by (1) dismissing as unripe and failing to find merit to Appellant’s claims that the ballot measure was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority and did not meet the statutory criteria for appropriations; (2) finding that the initiative did not violate the single subject rule; and (3) excluding a challenged exhibit from the evidence. View "Christensen v. Gale" on Justia Law

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In this action seeking to collect amounts Plaintiff claimed were due on personal guaranties, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court entering judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Plaintiff for the full amount sought, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not err in granting Plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict on certain affirmative defenses raised by Defendants; (2) there was no error or abuse of discretion in the jury instructions or in the admission of evidence concerning Defendants’ personal finances; and (3) the district court did not err in failing to grant Defendants’ motion for new trial based on the directed verdict and the admission of financial statements. View "Lindsay International Sales & Service, LLC v. Wegener" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Regional West Medical Center and dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint alleging retaliatory discharge and employment discrimination, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in finding that Plaintiff’s discrimination claims were barred by the relevant statute of limitations; and (2) the district court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff’s retaliation claim on the basis that there was no evidence to support a finding that Plaintiff’s termination was retaliatory. View "Brown v. Regional West Medical Center" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellant postconviction relief without conducting an evidentiary hearing, holding that the district court properly denied relief and without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and other crimes. Appellant later filed a motion for postconviction relief, alleging claims of trial court error, prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. The district court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in (1) failing to find trial counsel deficiency violated the Nebraska and United States Constitutions; (2) failing to grant Appellant postconviction relief; (3) failing to find Defendant was prejudiced by trial counsel’s performance; (4) failing to find Appellant was prejudiced by appellate counsel’s performance; and (5) denying Appellant an evidentiary hearing. View "State v. Foster" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court that modified Father’s child support obligation to Mother, holding that the district court did not err in the calculation of child support. In the parties’ divorce decree, Mother was granted physical custody of the parties three children, subject to Father’s parenting time, and Father was ordered to pay child support in the amount of $950 per month. Father later filed a complaint seeking modification of custody with respect to the parties’ middle child and a reduction in his child support obligation due to the change in custody. The district court awarded physical custody of the child to Father and modified child support accordingly. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the child support order was not a judicial abuse of discretion. View "Armknecht v. Armknecht" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law