Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming Defendant's convictions and sentences for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and obstructing a police officer, holding that the district court did not err when it affirmed the convictions and sentences.On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the district court erred in affirming her allegedly excessive sentence and in directing that her appearance bond be applied to fines and costs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the county court did not abuse its discretion when imposing sentence; (2) the county court did not err in ordering that Defendant's bond be applied to fines and costs; and (3) Defendant did not show that counsel provided ineffective assistance. View "State v. Collins" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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In this insurance dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment for Allstate Indemnity Company, holding that property loss from Plaintiffs' tenants' producing or using methamphetamine indoors was not a covered peril under the insurance policy.Plaintiff filed an insurance claim alleging that his tenants damaged his rental house by producing or using methamphetamine indoors. Allstate denied the claim. Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint against Allstate alleging breach of contract and bad faith. The district court granted summary judgment for Allstate, concluding that Plaintiff's property loss was excluded from coverage under certain portions of the insurance policy and was not covered by other portions of the policy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff's assignments of error were without merit. View "Kaiser v. Allstate Indemnity Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from an order of the district court declining to issue a writ of mandamus in order for Appellant to obtain an audio recording of his criminal trial, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction of this action for writ of mandamus, and therefore, the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction of this appeal.Appellant, an inmate, filed a complaint for writ of mandamus seeking, under Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-712 et seq. (the public records statutes), to obtain an audio recording of his criminal trial. The district court district court denied and dismissed Appellant's action for writ of mandamus, concluding that the public records statutes were inapplicable to Appellant's request and that access to the record of court proceedings was governed by court rules rather than the public records statutes. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal, holding that because Appellant did not file motion and affidavit or a verified petition, the district court lacked jurisdiction of this proceeding for mandamus. View "State ex. rel. Malone v. Baldonado-Bellamy" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the juvenile court terminating Mother's parental rights to her two children, holding that clear and convincing evidence supported termination of parental rights.After a termination hearing, the juvenile court entered an order terminating Mother's parental rights, finding that the State proved grounds for termination under Neb. Stat. 43-292(2), (4), and (6) as to both children and that termination of parental rights was in the children's best interests. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the juvenile court erred in determining that termination of Mother's parental rights was in the children's best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the State adduced clear and convincing evidence that termination of Mother's parental rights was in the children's best interests and that the State proved a statutory ground for termination. View "In re Interest of Leyton C." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's lawsuit in which he sought to prevent Nebraska voters from amending provisions of the Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 45-901 to 45-931, through a ballot initiative measure, holding that the district court did not err.The initiative measure, if adopted, would establish a statutory cap on the annual percentage rate that delayed deposit services licenses may charge. Plaintiff sought to enjoin the Secretary of State from including the petition on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot, asserting that 188 of the signatures in support of the initiative petition were invalid. The district court dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err by dismissing the complaint and in declining to grant Defendant leave to amend. View "Chaney v. Evnen" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellant's motion to suppress statements he made to law enforcement in an alleged violation of his Miranda rights, holding that the district court correctly denied the motion to suppress.In denying Defendant's motion to suppress, the district court found that Defendant's pre-Miranda statements made to law enforcement were voluntary and not the result of an interrogation and that Defendant's post-Miranda statements were made voluntarily. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant's pre-Miranda statements were made voluntarily and not in response to a custodial interrogation; and (2) there was sufficient evidence for a trier of fact to find that Defendant made his post-Miranda statements voluntarily. View "State v. Connelly" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court confirming an arbitrator's award, holding that the court properly affirmed the award.Plaintiff brought this action against Defendant seeking rescission of a contract of purchase and sale of dental practice and lease, alleging that fraudulent misrepresentations were made and that he relied upon them to his detriment. Because the contract contained an arbitration provision the district court sustained Defendant's motion to compel arbitration. The arbitrator concluded that Plaintiff ratified the contract through his conduct and waived any cause of action he might have had arising from his purchase of the dental practice. Plaintiff filed an application to vacate the arbitrator's award. The district court denied the motion. Thereafter, Defendant filed a motion to confirm the award, which the district court granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) this Court had jurisdiction to consider Plaintiff's challenge to the denial of his application to vacate, but his challenge lacked merit; and (2) the district court did not err in confirming the arbitration award. View "Cinatl v. Prososki" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the dissolution decree in this case, holding that the no-fault divorce statutory scheme governing dissolution found at Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-347 to 42-381 is not unconstitutional.On appeal from the dissolution decree, Defendant argued that, by virtue of establishing no-fault divorce, the statutory scheme deprives defendants in dissolution actions of procedural due process and constitutes special legislation in favor of plaintiffs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 42-347(3) does not violate the procedural due process provisions of the United States and Nebraska Constitutions; and (2) section 42-347(3) does not constitute special legislation granting divorces. View "Dycus v. Dycus" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part an order denying Defendant's motion for postconviction relief on his ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims, holding that precedent required that the Court vacate the portion of the order related to ineffective assistance for failure to investigate.Defendant pled guilty to three counts of first degree murder and other crimes. No direct appeal was filed. Thereafter, Defendant filed a motion for postconviction relief, alleging that counsel was ineffective for failing to file a direct appeal and that he would not have entered into the plea agreement if his attorney had properly investigated his case. The district court denied postconviction relief. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment in part, holding (1) the district court properly denied Defendant's ineffective assistance claim concerning his direct appeal; and (2) the district court failed to follow the directive in State v. Determan, 873 N.W.2d 390 (Nev. 2016), when disposing of Defendant's second postconviction claim. View "State v. Dalton" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the county court granting Gerald F.'s petition to be appointed guardian and conservator of a minor child and ordering Gerald to pay the guardian ad litem's (GAL) reasonable fees and costs, holding that the court acted within its statutory authority.After Gerald filed his petition to be appointed guardian and conservator he moved for the appointment of a GAL to represent the interests of the minor child. The motion was sustained by the county court. After a trial, the court granted Gerald's petition to be appointed the child's guardian and conservator. The county court subsequently determined that Gerald must pay the GAL's fees and costs. Gerald appealed, arguing that the order to pay fees and costs was not statutorily authorized. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court's order was authorized under Neb. Rev. Stat. 30-2643. View "In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of J.F." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law