by
The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's sentences for manslaughter and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person and remanded this matter for resentencing for those offenses, holding that there was plain error in Defendant's sentencing. Defendant was convicted of manslaughter, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, and pandering. On appeal, Defendant assigned nine errors. The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's sentences in part, holding that the district court's failure to impose an indeterminate sentence when required by statute constituted plain error and that there was plain error in the district court's award of a credit for time served. Otherwise, the Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's assignments of error were without merit. View "State v. Briggs" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant's convictions and that Defendant failed to sufficiently allege ineffective assistance of counsel. On appeal, Defendant asserted that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions and that his trial counsel was ineffective. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that Defendant's first assignment of error was without merit and that Defendant failed to allege ineffective assistance of counsel was sufficient particularity. View "State v. Sinkey" on Justia Law

by
In this negligence action brought by Plaintiff, the mother and special administrator of the estate of Chad Gesin, who committed suicide while in the Gage County jail, the Supreme Court affirmed the finding of the district court that Plaintiff's action was barred by sovereign immunity under Neb. Rev. Stat. 13-910(1), holding that the district court properly found that Plaintiff's claim was barred by section 13-910(1). Plaintiff brought this action against the County of Gage, Nebraska, the Gage County sheriff, and unknown Gage County sheriff's employees under the Nebraska Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 13-901 to 13-928, alleging that Defendants failed to follow the jail's established protocol and knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that Gesin was suicidal. The district court concluded that Defendants had exercised due care and that Defendant's action was barred by sovereign immunity. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err when it concluded that Plaintiff's claim for money damages was barred under section 13-910(1) and that Defendants were entitled to judgment in their favor. View "Reiber v. County of Gage" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying Ariana Bernal Sabino's request for in forma paupers status on appeal from the district court's entry of a decree dissolving her marriage to Juan Carlos Genchi Ozuna, holding that the district court erred in denying Sabino's request to proceed in forma paupers in her appeal from the divorce decree. The district court dissolved the parties' marriage in this case but denied Sabino's petition for findings of fact regarding the abuse, abandonment, and neglect of her children by Ozuna. Sabino filed a motion to appeal accompanied by a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. The district court denied the motion, finding that Sabino was not destitute or not in the condition that she could not pay the appeal expenses. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-2301.02, Sabino lacked sufficient funds to pay costs, fee, or security. View "Sabino v. Ozuna" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed as modified the judgment of the district court finding that Defendant owed Plaintiff $1,214,056 in unpaid profits and that Plaintiff was entitled to prejudgment interest in the amount of $97,582 pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 45-104, holding that there was no error in applying section 45-104 to award prejudgment interest to Plaintiff but that there was an error in calculating prejudgment interest. Ten years after the parties agreed to farm together and share net profits equally Plaintiff brought this action. The district court awarded unpaid profits and prejudgment interest after a bench trial. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest under section 45-104 without also finding that Plaintiff's claim was liquidated under Neb. Rev. Stat. 45-103.02(2). The Supreme Court modified the amount of prejudgment interest to $460,210, holding (1) section 45-103.02 and section 45-104 provide separate and independent means of recovering prejudgment interest in Nebraska, and when a claim is of the type enumerated in section 45-104, then prejudgment interest may be recovered without regard to whether the claim is liquidated; and (2) prejudgment interest was properly awarded pursuant to section 45-104 in this case, but it was incorrectly calculated. View "Weyh v. Gottsch" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the domestic abuse protection order obtained by Robert M. on behalf of Bella O., holding that the trial court did not err in determining that Bella was a victim of abuse within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-903. Robert and Danielle O. were the parents of Bella. Robert filed a petition and affidavit to obtain a domestic abuse protection order for Bella against Danielle under Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-924. Robert's affidavit stated that Danielle physically attacked two other family members while Bella was present. Danielle, however, did not attack Bella. The trial court determined that Danielle's conduct put Bella in fear of bodily injury by means of a credible threat and thus constituted domestic abuse under section 42-903(1)(b). The Supreme Court affirmed, although its reasoning differed from that of the trial court, holding that Bella did to have to be the target or recipient of a threat in order to be a victim thereof and that Bella was entitled to a protection order under the circumstances of this case. View "Robert M. v. Danielle O." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of delivery of a controlled substance, a class II felony, pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-416, holding that the photographic identification of Defendant by a confidential informant as the person who sold drugs to the informant was reliable even though the confrontation procedure may have been suggestive. During the course of the criminal proceedings Defendant repeatedly sought to suppress the informant's identification of him, arguing that the identification violated his due process rights. During the jury trial, the informant's identification was admitted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly found that the identification of Defendant was unduly suggestive but did not err in its conclusion regarding the reliability of the identification as analyzed with the five factors set forth in United States Supreme Court precedent. View "State v. Cosey" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court vacated the order of the juvenile court purporting to transfer a modification proceeding back to the district court, holding that the order was beyond the juvenile court's statutory authority and void. Trevor W. commenced this modification proceeding in the district court. Christine W. counterclaimed seeking to terminate Trevor's parental rights. Christine obtained an order transferring the proceeding to the county court, sitting as a juvenile court. The juvenile court denied the transfer and purportedly returned the proceeding to district court. The Supreme Court vacated the order and remanded the cause to the juvenile court for further proceedings, holding that the juvenile court acted beyond its statutory authority and that its order was void. View "Christine W. v. Trevor W." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the portion of the county court's decision ordering Douglas County to pay the balance of the attorney fees owed by a former guardian-conservator to the successor guardian-conservator, holding that the county court's order did not conform to the law and was not supported by competent evidence. In 2007, a guardian-conservatorship was established for Alice H. In Douglas County. Pamela Grimes was appointed her guardian-conservator. In 2012, the court appointed Jodie McGill to serve as Alice's guardian-conservator. In 2016, the county court surcharged Grimes $37,505.70 in attorney fees to McGill. Grimes paid only a portion of the fees. In 2018, McGill asked the county court to order Douglas County to pay the balance. The court granted that request. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the order neither conformed to the law nor was supported by competent evidence. View "In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Alice H." on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court affirming Defendant's conviction for driving under the influence, second offense, holding that the district court erred in affirming the conviction after finding that the county court erred in admitting breath test evidence. The district court determined that the county court erred in admitting breath test evidence but affirmed the conviction, concluding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the county court's consideration of the breath test evidence, which the district court later found inadmissible, was not harmless error. View "State v. McGinn" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law