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The Supreme Court affirmed the award of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, holding that none of Employee’s contentions on appeal warranted modification of the award. In his petition, Employee sought temporary total disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, payment of past and future medical bills, and waiting-time penalties and attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Workers’ Compensation Court did not err by failing to (1) award permanent disability based on a loss of earning capacity rather than a member impairment rating; (2) award permanent disability based on a twelve-percent member impairment rating rather than a fifteen-percent member impairment rating; (3) award a waiting-time penalty from the date of the injury rather than the date of payment of benefits in August 2016; (4) award Employee out-of-pocket medical expenses; and (5) award reimbursement of vacation time and short-term disability. View "Bower v. Eaton Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court overruling Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from a traffic stop, holding that this was an investigatory traffic stop supported by reasonable suspicion. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained from the search of his car, arguing that the law enforcement officer did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop. The district court found that the traffic stop was supported by probable cause and overruled the motion to suppress. The Supreme Court affirmed, although its reasoning differed from that of the district court, holding that the investigatory stop of Defendant’s car was supported by reasonable suspicion and was therefore constitutional. View "State v. Barbeau" on Justia Law

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In this dispute in which an owner of one property sought to bind the purchaser of another property to the terms of a fifty-year lease agreement entered into between different parties, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the purchaser, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Court held (1) the statute of frauds barred the owner’s claim for breach of contract because there was no privity of contract and the purchaser did not expressly assume the lease; (2) equitable estoppel did not prevent the purchaser from raising the statute of frauds as a defense; and (3) there was no genuine issue of material fact, and therefore, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the purchaser. View "Brick Development v. CNBT II" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court ruling that IOC Realty Specialist Inc. and its sole shareholder, Bernard Tompkins, violated the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act by knowingly retaining personal property belonging to Samuel Pan, a former tenant, and awarding Pan damages and attorney fees. In his complaint, Pan alleged that IOC, his former landlord, refused to return his personal property that remained on the leased premises after Pan had ended his tenancy. The trial court entered judgment against IOC and Tompkins for the wrongful retention of property pursuant to the Act. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Act applies in commercial lease cases; (2) the district court did not clearly err when it held that IOC violated the Act by refusing to return Pan’s property upon his request; and (3) there was sufficient evidence to support the court’s award of damages and attorney fees under the Act. View "Pan v. IOC Realty Specialist Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Landlord - Tenant

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The Supreme Court vacated in part and dismissed in part the appeal of the dismissal of Appellant’s mandamus action and the cross-appeal of the rejection of Appellee’s sovereign immunity defense, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Appellant’s mandamus action against Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), a state agency. Appellant filed this mandamus action against NSP seeking an order commanding NSP to remove from the public record information regarding his arrest. The district court rejected NSP’s sovereign immunity defense but dismissed the mandamus action on the grounds that the action was moot and mandamus relief was unavailable because Appellant had an adequate remedy at law. The Supreme Court held that Appellant’s mandamus action was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, and therefore, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action. View "State ex rel. Rhiley v. Nebraska State Patrol" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s sentence imposed in connection with Defendant's convictions for kidnapping and manslaughter, holding that there was no reversible error in any aspect of the district court’s sentencing. Defendant was serving a criminal sentence in Colorado when he was extradited to Nebraska to face charges. Colorado authorities granted Defendant parole approximately nineteen months later. When Defendant was convicted of kidnapping and manslaughter in Nebraska, the district court determined that Defendant was not entitled to credit for time served prior to his parole in Colorado. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) properly denied Defendant credit for time spent in custody up until he was paroled; (2) did not err by receiving a certain exhibit in the course of determining whether and to what extent Defendant was entitled to credit for time served; and (3) did not abuse its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences. View "State v. Leahy" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of motor vehicle homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) causing serious bodily injury, and refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test and the sentences imposed, holding that any error in the trial court proceedings was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the Court held (1) Defendant failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of counsel as a matter of law; (2) evidence of a driver’s refusal to submit to a warrantless blood draw is admissible in a DUI prosecution; and (3) the trial court erred in admitting the victim’s death certificate without supporting testimony, but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. View "State v. Hood" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and sentence of probation, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on her ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Specifically, the Court held (1) because Defendant did not file a timely motion for new trial, this Court could not consider Defendant’s arguments of error relating to the overruling of the motion; and (2) applying the standard set forth in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), the record was insufficient to resolve Defendant’s claims that she received ineffective assistance of counsel due to counsel’s personal interest conflict. View "State v. Avina-Murillo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the arbitration board ruling that the monthly transmission rate the City of Sidney’s whole-sale energy provider, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN), charged Sidney was excessive, unfair, and unreasonable, holding that MEAN was permitted to charge Sidney the increased transmission rate. The board determined that MEAN breached the parties’ Service Schedule M (SSM) supplemental agreement by changing the transmission path for the electric power and energy it provided to Sidney and by charging the city for the increased transmission rates. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the increased monthly transmission rate charges were required for continued performance of the SSM after the parties learned they had insufficient contractual rights to complete the transmission path to Sidney, and therefore, the charges were not incurred arbitrarily; and (2) MEAN substantially complied with the SSM in transmitting energy to Sidney, and MEAN was permitted to charge the city the increased transmission rate under the SSM. View "City of Sidney v. Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska" on Justia Law

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In these appeals from identical, successive postconviction motions filed in three cases, the Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s first appeal for lack of jurisdiction and affirmed the denials of Appellant’s other claim as time barred. In his postconviction motions, Appellant sought relief based on Hurst v. Florida, __ U.S. __, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and on a death qualification issue. The district court denied relief on each issue in separate orders filed months apart. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal challenging the denials of the death qualification issue, holding that Appellant did not timely appeal those denials. As to the claim raised in Appellant’s second-degree appeal, the Supreme Court agreed with the district court that the claim was barred by the limitations period set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3301 and that subsection (4)(d) did not extend the limitation period. View "State v. Lotter" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law