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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in this quiet title action filed by Richard Jordan seeking to invalidate a mortgage lien on the ground that it was an improper encumbrance of the homestead under Neb. Rev. Stat. 40-104 because his signatures on the deed of trust were forged. In a previous order of dissolution and property division, the court allocated to Richard the marital home and its refinancing mortgage debt. In this quiet title action, the court granted summary judgment against Richard, finding that the deed of trust was a valid first and prior lien on the real estate and that Richard’s quiet title action was barred by issue preclusion and judicial estoppel. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) issue preclusion and judicial estoppel may supply the statutory requirements set forth in Neb. Reb. Stat. 40-104 for encumbrances of a homestead; and (2) the district court did not err in finding as a matter of law that Richard’s attempt to invalidate the lien at issue was barred by issue preclusion. View "Jordan v. LSF8 Master Participation Trust" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court overruled the State’s exception in this exception proceeding challenging the juvenile court’s rulings on a motion to recuse and a motion to join the underlying case with that of another minor. In a delinquency proceeding, the county court, sitting as a juvenile court, found that the State failed to prove the allegations against J.K., the juvenile in this case, and dismissed the proceedings. The State appealed, arguing that the juvenile court erred when the presiding judge failed to recuse himself after evidence was presented showing bias and partiality an erred when it failed to join the cases of J.K.’s and J.G., another minor. The Supreme Court overruled the State’s exception, holding (1) the juvenile court’s denial of the motion for recusal was not error; and (2) the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying the State’s motion for joinder. View "In re Interest of J.K." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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The district court did not err in finding that Elizabeth Mays, an exotic dancer with Midnite Dreams, Inc., doing business as Shaker’s, was an employee entitled to compensation under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201, and the Wage and Hour Act (WHA), Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1201 et seq., but the court erred in granting Mays relief under the FLSA and the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act (NWPCA), Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1228 et seq. Mays filed a complaint seeking unpaid wages, liquidated damages, and attorney fees and costs under FLSA and Nebraska law. The trial court determined that Mays was entitled to a full minimum wage rate and that Defendants were jointly and severally liable for $7,586.78 in damages for unpaid wages. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court correctly determined that Mays was an employee entitled to a minimum wage under the WHA, but Mays was entitled to only the minimum wage amount for tipped employees; and (2) the court erred in ruling that Mays was entitled to relief under the FLSA and the NWPCA. View "Mays v. Midnite Dreams, Inc." on Justia Law

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Millard Gutter Company’s voluntary dismissal of its civil action against American Family Insurance Company had no effect on the district court’s authority to make further rulings, but the court erred in taxing technology expenses and jury expenses as costs. After Millard Gutter filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice, the district court entered a judgment of dismissal and taxed costs to Millard Gutter, including expenses incurred by American Family in setting up courtroom technology and expenses incurred by the court in compensation prospective jurors. On appeal, Millard Gutter argued that once it filed a voluntary dismissal, the district court lacked authority to make any further rulings and, alternatively, that the district court erred in taxing technology expenses and jury expenses as costs. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and in part reversed, holding (1) because Millard Gutter had no statutory right to voluntary dismissal at the time it filed its dismissal, the district court’s authority to make further rulings was unaffected by that filing; and (2) the district court abused its discretion in taxing such expenses as costs. View "Millard Gutter Co. v. American Family Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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In this matter concerning the administration of the Henry B. Wilson, Jr., Revocable Trust Dated June 27, 2002 the Court of Appeals erred in interpreting the order of the county court to have removed the cotrustees of the subtrust of Lou Ann Goding, Henry’s daughter. Lou Ann filed this suit alleging mismanagement of Henry’s trust. The county court, after a trial, removed the cotrustees of Henry’s trust. The Court of Appeals concluded that there was no error in need of correction, interpreting the county court’s order to have removed the cotrustees of Lou Ann’s subtrust. Although the Supreme Court’s reasoning differed from that of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Court of Appeals erred in interpreting the county court’s order to have removed the cotrustees of the subtrusts; but (2) because the Court of Appeals did not remove the cotrustees of Lou Ann’s subtrust de novo, instead finding no error in need of correction, this Court’s ultimate conclusion that the county court did not err is the same. View "In re Henry B. Wilson, Jr., Revocable Trust" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the separate juvenile court of Lancaster County that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) arrange and pay for Paxton H., a juvenile in its care and custody, to receive mental health services at a facility in Kansas, holding that the juvenile court’s order was in Paxton’s best interests. On appeal, DHHS acknowledged that Paxton required certain services but that it was not in his best interests to participate in a transition program several hours from his parents’ home. Instead, DHHS asserted that it would be better for Paxton to receive local services in Nebraska. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the juvenile court did not err in ordering DHHS to arrange and pay for Paxton to receive services at the Kansas facility. View "In re Paxton H." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the determination of the district court in this declaratory judgment action (1) a contract between Ray Anderson, Inc. (Anderson) and Buck’s, Inc. to supply “BP-branded” motor fuel did not prevent Anderson from contracting with a competitor, Western Oil, Inc., to rebrand fuel sold at some of Anderson’s facilities; and (2) Buck’s held a unilateral right to terminate the fuel supply agreement. Anderson’s complaint requested the district court to declare that the contract did not prohibit Anderson from rebranding fuel sold at some of its stations and to determine that if Anderson sought to terminate the contract, it could do so upon reasonable notice. The district court rejected Anderson’s argument that it may terminate the contract upon reasonable notice but that Anderson had a right to rebrand. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in its judgment. View "Ray Anderson, Inc. v. Buck's, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court dismissing the claims brought by a trust’s grantors and beneficiaries for constructive trusts against other parties who had dealt with the trustee, holding that the claims failed either for lack of proof or because of Neb. Rev. Stat. 30-38,101. The district court dismissed the case after finding that the defendants were all entitled to protection under 30-38,101, which protects third parties dealing in good faith with a trustee. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing the claims for a constructive trust against the defendants in this case. View "Junker v. Carlson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Appellant’s wrongful discharge claim on the ground that it was barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion. Appellant filed a complaint against her former employer, alleging violation of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and wrongful discharge in violation of Nebraska law and public policy. A federal district court granted summary judgment for Defendant, concluding that the claim was governed by the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (NFEPA) and was not a general state law tort claim for wrongful discharge. Appellant’s title VII claim remained pending in the federal court. Appellant then filed the instant complaint against Defendant in the district court for Lancaster County, alleging wrongful discharge “in violation of Nebraska law and public policy.” The district court dismissed the wrongful discharge claim, concluding that it was barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion because the federal district court had already decided the claim on the merits and dismissed it as time barred. The Supreme Court affirmed. View "Hill v. AMMC, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of aggravated driving under the influence and displaying unlawful or fictions license plates. The Court held that the district court did not err in (1) there was probable cause to support Defendant’s arrest for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest; (2) law enforcement had probable cause to arrest Defendant for driving under the influence (DUI); and (3) the court did not err in finding Defendant guilty of second-offense DUI and unlawful/fictitious display of license plates. View "State v. Petsch" on Justia Law