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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s summary judgment orders that determined Mutual of Omaha Bank held a valid and enforceable deed of trust against Robert Watson’s homestead property. The court concluded that the primary deed of trust had first priority as an encumbrance on the property, ordered an execution sale, and foreclosed Watson from asserting any interest in the property. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in concluding that Watson and his then-spouse intended to encumber their homestead through the primary deed of trust. The Supreme Court held that, although its reasoning differed from the district court, the court did not err in finding that the primary deed of trust was valid and enforceable. View "Mutual of Omaha Bank v. Watson" on Justia Law

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This case presented the Supreme Court’s first opportunity to address postrelease supervision as enacted by 2015 Neb. Laws, L.B. 605. Defendant was convicted of third degree sexual assault of a child and requested to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). Defendant later pleaded no contest to failing to register as required to SORA and was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment and twelve months’ supervised release. Defendant appealed, arguing that his sentence was excessive and that certain conditions of postrelease supervision were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant’s sentence was not an abuse of discretion; and (2) Defendant waived any objection to the conditions imposed. View "State v. Phillips" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the county court’s denial of Petitioners’ petition for removal of the personal representative of the estate of the decedent pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 30-2454. Petitioners, devisees under the decedent’s will, disagreed with the personal representative’s decision to enter into a purchase agreement for the sale of a farm, arguing that the sale price was not in the best interests of the estate because, according to Petitioners’ appraiser, the value of the land was substantially higher. The county court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the county court did not err in concluding that Petitioners did not show cause for removal of the personal representative of the estate. View "In re Estate of Etmund" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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Defendant was arrested in Wyoming, waived extradition, was returned to Nebraska, and was charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking. Defendant filed in the trial court a motion for absolute discharge for violation of his constitutional rights, alleging that his extradition was procedurally improper and that his arrest warrant was defective. The trial court denied the motion. Thereafter, Defendant was found guilty. After Defendant was sentenced, the appeal from the denial of his motion for absolute discharge was voluntarily dismissed. The court of appeals affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences on direct appeal. Defendant then filed an application in the district court for a writ of habeas corpus alleging that his conviction and sentence were void because the trial court lacked jurisdiction to continue with his trial while his appeal from the denial of the motion for absolute discharge was pending. The court dismissed Defendant’s application. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion for absolute discharge was not a final order, the trial court was not divested of jurisdiction when Defendant filed this interlocutory appeal. View "Dugan v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Lori Greenwood was injured while working for J.J. Hooligans, LLC. Greenwood was informed that because of nonpayment, FirstComp Insurance Company (FirstComp) was not the workers’ compensation insurance carrier on the date of the accident. Greenwood filed a petition against J.J. Hooligan’s and FirstComp seeking workers’ compensation benefits. FirstComp filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that it was not a proper party because it had timely notified J.J. Hooligan’s that it had terminated its insurance coverage for nonpayment of its premium and therefore did not provide workers’ compensation insurance on the date of the accident. The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court sustained the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that FirstComp failed to present sufficient competent evidence as to whether it complied with the employer notice of cancellation requirement in Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-144.03 to warrant an order of dismissal. View "Greenwood v. J.J. Hooligan’s, LLC" on Justia Law

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Lori Greenwood was injured while working for J.J. Hooligans, LLC. Greenwood was informed that because of nonpayment, FirstComp Insurance Company (FirstComp) was not the workers’ compensation insurance carrier on the date of the accident. Greenwood filed a petition against J.J. Hooligan’s and FirstComp seeking workers’ compensation benefits. FirstComp filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that it was not a proper party because it had timely notified J.J. Hooligan’s that it had terminated its insurance coverage for nonpayment of its premium and therefore did not provide workers’ compensation insurance on the date of the accident. The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court sustained the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that FirstComp failed to present sufficient competent evidence as to whether it complied with the employer notice of cancellation requirement in Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-144.03 to warrant an order of dismissal. View "Greenwood v. J.J. Hooligan’s, LLC" on Justia Law

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Appellant was charged with four crimes in connection with certain financial dealings. A jury heard his case, and after deliberating for three days, the jury reported that it was deadlocked. The district court sustained Appellant’s motion for a mistrial. Later, Appellant discovered that the jury had voted unanimously during deliberations to acquit him on three of the four charges but erroneously thought it had to reach a unanimous verdict on all charges. Appellant filed a motion for a judgment of acquittal and then a plea in bar. The district court overruled the motion and the plea in bar. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order overruling Appellant’s plea in bar, holding that the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution does not bar Appellant’s retrial after his first trial ended in a mistrial, which was granted at Appellant’s request. View "State v. Combs" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Appellant was charged with four crimes in connection with certain financial dealings. A jury heard his case, and after deliberating for three days, the jury reported that it was deadlocked. The district court sustained Appellant’s motion for a mistrial. Later, Appellant discovered that the jury had voted unanimously during deliberations to acquit him on three of the four charges but erroneously thought it had to reach a unanimous verdict on all charges. Appellant filed a motion for a judgment of acquittal and then a plea in bar. The district court overruled the motion and the plea in bar. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order overruling Appellant’s plea in bar, holding that the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution does not bar Appellant’s retrial after his first trial ended in a mistrial, which was granted at Appellant’s request. View "State v. Combs" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court finding Appellant guilty of premeditated first degree murder and sentencing him to life imprisonment. The court held (1) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of Appellant’s letter to a witness warning the witness not to “lie” at Appellant’s trial because the court did not comply with the procedural requirements for admitting such evidence under Neb. R. Evid. 404(2); (2) however, because the State’s other evidence of Appellant’s guilt was overwhelming, the court’s error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) Defendant’s remaining assignments of error were without merit. View "State v. Burries" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court finding Appellant guilty of premeditated first degree murder and sentencing him to life imprisonment. The court held (1) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of Appellant’s letter to a witness warning the witness not to “lie” at Appellant’s trial because the court did not comply with the procedural requirements for admitting such evidence under Neb. R. Evid. 404(2); (2) however, because the State’s other evidence of Appellant’s guilt was overwhelming, the court’s error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) Defendant’s remaining assignments of error were without merit. View "State v. Burries" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law