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The Supreme Court affirmed as modified the order of the district court modifying the parenting plan agreed to by Anne VanSkiver and Todd VanSkiver and approved by the district court, holding that the order of modification was warranted by a material change in circumstances, and the court did not improperly delegate its authority to determine parenting time. When the marriage between the parties was dissolved Anne was granted legal and physical custody of the parties' two minor children, subject to the parenting plan at issue. Anne later moved to modify and suspend Todd's parenting time pending family therapy. The district court modified the parenting plan but did not order family therapy. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified for clarity, holding (1) the district court's order suspended Todd's parenting time entirely, and the court did not abuse its discretion in this regard; and (2) Anne showed a material change in circumstances affecting the best interests of the children, and the district court did not improperly delegate to the minor children the right to determine whether to exercise parenting time. View "VanSkiver v. VanSkiver" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In this action challenging an investigatory subpoena issued during the 105th Nebraska Legislature the Supreme Court dismissed this appeal as moot, holding that the subpoena expired at the commencement of the 106th Nebraska Legislature, and therefore, this Court could not grant the relief sought. The subpoena in question was issued during the 105 Legislature by the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature with the approval of the Executive Committee of the 105th Legislature and commanded the attendance of the director of the Department of Correctional Services to testify at a committee hearing. Before the hearing, the State and the director of the Department (collectively, the Department) sued the senators who were on the Judiciary Committee and the Executive Board of the Legislative Council when the subpoena was issued and the Clerk of the Legislature who signed the subpoena, alleging that the subpoena was not in the discharge of any legal duty. The district court granted the Department's motion to quash the subpoena. The Senators appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as moot, holding that because the subpoena was issued by a committee of the Legislature which not longer exists, there is no longer a case and controversy as required for the exercise of the Court's judicial power. View "State ex rel. Peterson v. Ebke" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court entering judgment according to a jury verdict determining that defendant-intervenor Lehr, Inc. was entitled to possession of two disputed motor vehicles and was entitled to damages in the amount of $95,000 as a result of Foundation One Bank's sale of one of the vehicles, holding that there was no plain error in the proceedings below. Foundation One sought replevin of two motor vehicles pledged by Jason Svoboda as collateral to secure payment of a loan. Lehr intervened, seeking possession of the vehicles. The jury entered a verdict in favor of Lehr and awarded Lehr $95,000. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Foundation One was not prejudiced by the instructions given to the jury; and (2) the district court did not err when it denied Foundation One's motions for judgment on the pleadings and for a directed verdict. View "Foundation One Bank v. Svoboda" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of dissolution entered by the district court dissolving the marriage of Marissa Blank to Caleb Blank and awarding joint legal and physical custody of the parties' two minor children, holding that the district court did not err in awarding joint physical custody. Specifically, the Court held (1) Marissa had reasonable notice that joint custody was at issue during the trial, had an opportunity to be heard on the issue of joint custody during the trial, and presented evidence on the issue of joint custody during the trial, and therefore, the district court did not err in considering joint physical custody where neither party made such a request prior to trial and the court did not provide notice of its consideration; (2) the court did not err in determining that the case did not involve domestic abuse; and (3) the court did not abuse its discretion in determining that joint custody was in the children's best interests. View "Blank v. Blank" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's plea-based conviction for felony child abuse, holding that the court of appeals properly found that there was not a sufficient factual basis for the plea but erred in its disposition. The court of appeals reversed the district court's order accepting Defendant's no contest plea to felony child abuse and vacated that conviction, concluding that the factual basis presented by the State was not sufficient to support Defendant's no contest plea, and affirmed Defendant's conviction for attempted possession of a controlled substance. The court then vacated the sentence and remanded the matter for resentencing on Defendant's conviction for attempted possession of a controlled substance. The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the court of appeals with directions to reverse both convictions and vacate the sentencing, holding that the district court abused its discretion in finding a sufficient factual basis to support Appellant's no contest plea to child abuse but held that the court of appeals erred in its disposition because it focused only on the conviction for felony child abuse rather than setting forth a remedy focused on the entire plea agreement. View "State v. Ettleman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals summarily dismissing this appeal, holding that Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1329 applies to a district court's judgment disposing of a petition in error and overruling several previous decision to the extent that they held section 25-1329 inapplicable to judgments of a district court acting as an intermediate appellate court. Appellant filed a petition in error in the district court against Defendant, alleging that he was wrongfully terminated. The district court overruled the petition. Ten days later, Appellant moved for a new trial or, in the alternative, for an order vacating the judgment. The district court overruled the motion and the alternative motion. Thirty days afterward, Appellant filed a notice of appeal. The court of appeals summarily dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that it was untimely filed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 25-1329 does not apply to a judgment of a district court acting as an intermediate appellate court; and (2) in the instant case, the summary dismissal of Appellant's appeal must be reversed because Appellant's alternative motion to vacate qualified as a motion to alter or amend a judgment within the meaning of section 25-1329. View "McEwen v. Nebraska State College System" on Justia Law

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In this post-divorce action, the Supreme Court vacated in part and affirmed in part the order of the district court requiring Mother to bring the parties' children to Catholic Mass every weekend in which she was exercising parenting time or to allow Father to take the children during her parenting time, holding that the parenting plan did not require the Mass attendance ordered by the district court. During their divorce proceedings Mother and Father agreed to a stipulated parenting plan that was later incorporated in the decree dissolving their marriage. The parenting plan included a provision that the children "will be enrolled and be participants in the Catholic religion." Father later filed a motion alleging that Mother was not complying with the provision in the parenting plan regarding the children's participation in the Catholic religion. The district court entered an order providing that the children must attend Catholic Mass every weekend and on Holy Days of Obligation. The Supreme Court vacated the order in part, holding that the district court erred in interpreting the decree and that the language of the parenting plan did not require Mother to facilitate the children's attendance at Catholic Mass as ordered by the district court. View "Gomez v. Gomez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In this lawsuit filed by the purchasers of a home against the sellers the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court vacating an arbitration award entered in favor of Sellers and remanded with directions to confirm the arbitration award, holding that the district court erred by finding that arbitration provision in the purchase agreement was unenforceable, vacating the award, and failing to confirm the award. In this action, Purchasers alleged that several defects in the home they purchased had been concealed by Sellers. An arbitrator issued an award in favor of Sellers, finding that no credible evidence supported any of Purchasers' claims. Purchasers filed an application to vacate the arbitration award, and Sellers filed a motion seeking judicial confirmation of the award. The district court entered an order finding the arbitration void and vacating the award, holding that the arbitration provision in the purchase agreement was unenforceable under Nebraska's Uniform Arbitration Act. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court should have confirmed the arbitration award pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-2612. View "Garlock v. 3DS Properties, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part, affirmed in part as modified, and reversed in part the decree of dissolution in this case, holding that the district court erred in calculating child support and in dividing certain marital assets and that the parties' remaining arguments on appeal were without merit. Shawn Dooling appealed the decree of dissolution, arguing that the trial court erred in calculating child support, dividing the martial state, and awarding alimony. Kristina Dooling cross-appealed, assigning errors relating to the issues of child support, division of the marital estate, and the award of joint physical custody. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court erred in calculating child support, and the matter is remanded for the district court for a proper calculation of child support; (2) the court erred in its equitable division of the house proceeds, and the division of the house proceeds requires modification; (3) there was no abuse of discretion in the district court's determination that joint physical custody and the parenting plan incorporated into the decree are in the best interests of the children; and (4) the parties' remaining arguments were without merit. View "Dooling v. Dooling" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of manufacturing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of a controlled substance, holding that the lower court did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during and after his interaction with law enforcement. Defendant argued that suppression was warranted because he was unlawfully seized, his statements were obtained in violation of Miranda, and his consent to the search was coerced. The district court concluded that the initial seizure of Defendant was appropriate, Defendant's other statements were not made during a custodial interrogation, and Defendant's consent to the search of his residence was voluntary and not coerced. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights were not violated in this case. View "State v. Schriner" on Justia Law