Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from an order setting aside a default order modifying child support and setting the matter for a status hearing, holding that the order was not a final order.Sybil Porter filed a complaint for modification of a divorce decree awarding her custody of the parties' two children and ordering Dustin Porter to pay child support, alleging that there had been a substantial and material change of circumstances necessitating a modification due to a change of income. The court entered an order of modification after a hearing at which Dustin did not appear. The court subsequently vacated its order and set a status hearing. Sybil appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that because the default order modifying child support and setting the matter for a status hearing did not affect a substantial right of the parties it was not a final order. View "Porter v. Porter" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dissolving the marriage of Daniel Cornwell and Melanie Cornwell, holding that the district court did not err in using the immediate offset method of valuation to value the martial portion of Daniel's pension.Both parties appealed in this case. Daniel argued that the district court erred in using the immediate offset method to value his pension. On cross-appeal, Melanie argued that the district court erred in not awarding her attorney fees and costs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion by using the immediate offset method of valuation and to accordingly value and divide the estate; and (2) did not err in not awarding Melanie attorney fees and costs. View "Cornwell v. Cornwell" on Justia Law

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In this construction defect case brought by homeowners against several contractors, the Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court that the limitations period against each contractor began to run upon the substantial completion of each contractor's project.The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the contractors in this case, generally agreeing that the limitations period for the homeowners' claims against the contractors began to run on the dates that each contractor substantially completed its work. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in finding that Homeowners' claims against the contractors were time barred as matter of law under Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-223 and by denying their oral motion seeking leave to amend their complaint to add a new claim. View "McCaulley v. C L Enterprises, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Mother's request to move the children she shared with Father out of state to live with her new husband and in modifying custody, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.After the parties divorced, Mother was awarded sole physical custody over the children, subject to parenting time with Father. When Mother remarried, she filed her removal request. The trial court denied the request, concluding that the move was not in the children's best interests. Instead, the trial court awarded sole physical custody over the children to Father, subject to Mother's parenting time. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying removal and modifying custody. View "Korth v. Korth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law
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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court dismissing this breach of contract claim filed against Streck, Inc., by one of its former shareholders, Stacy Ryan, holding that, contrary to the conclusion of the trial court, the claim was timely filed.On appeal, Ryan argued that the statute of limitations on her breach of contract claim was tolled either by 28 U.S.C. 1367(d) or by Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-201.01, and therefore, the trial court erred in dismissing the case on statute of limitations grounds. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed the trial court's judgment, holding that, under the facts of this case, Ryan's claim was timely. View "Ryan v. Streck, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court quashing Appellant's application for writ of habeas corpus and dismissing Appellant's error proceeding, holding that the district court did not err.Appellant's parole was revoked after he pled guilty for violating a condition of parole. Appellant filed an amended complaint, styled as a "Petition in Error & Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus," challenging the decision. The court quashed the application for writ of habeas corpus and dismissed the error proceeding. Appellant appealed, assigning fourteen errors with regard to both proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court lacked jurisdiction over the error proceeding because the petition in error was not timely filed; and (2) because habeas corpus is a collateral proceeding, the district court did not err in quashing Appellant's application for a writ of habeas corpus. View "Tyrrell v. Frakes" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that it lacked jurisdiction over this petition in error, holding that the district court did not err when it dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction.After a hearing involving the presentation of sworn testimony and other evidence conducted pursuant to procedures in the relevant collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a grievance committee of a county with fewer than 150,000 residents decided that the managerial and disciplinary rights of the CBA permitted the county department of corrections to forbid a correctional officer from working certain shifts due to a prior disciplinary action. The correctional officer filed a petition in error, which the district court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in determining that it lacked jurisdiction because no statute specifically requires an evidentiary hearing before a grievance committee and because the committee decided matters of law concerning the meaning of the CBA rather than matters of disputed fact. View "Champion v. Hall County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming the decision of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center (NLETC) denying Plaintiff's application to obtain certification to work in law enforcement in Nebraska, holding that the district court did not commit plain error.Plaintiff, who previously served as a law enforcement officer in Georgia, applied to obtain certification to work in Nebraska law enforcement. In denying the application, the NLETC determined that Plaintiff had provided answers regarding his personal background that were untrue and failed to disclose requested information. After an administrative hearing, the Police Standards Advisory Council upheld the decision. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not plainly err by upholding the denial of Plaintiff's application for reciprocity certification. View "Swicord v. Police Standards Advisory Council" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court finding that Victor L. was not competent to be adjudicated and dismissing the State's petition alleging that Victor had been habitually truant from school and fell within the meaning of section 43-247(3)(b), holding that the juvenile court did not err.After a competency review, the court found that Victor was not competent and dismissed the truancy proceeding on that basis. The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court's preadjudication dismissal of the truancy petition based on Victor's lack of competency to participate in the proceedings, holding (1) the plain language of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-258 recognizes, as a matter of public policy, the juveniles accused of delinquency and status offenses have a statutory right to be competent to participate in adjudication proceedings; and (2) the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the petition. View "In re Interest of Victor L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law
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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the county court purporting to discharge the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) and appoint the ward's parents as successor coguardians over their objection, holding that the parents had standing to appeal and that the Public Guardianship Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 30-4101 to 30-4118, did not permit the discharge of the OPG.Nicholas was an adult with severe mental illness who was in need of a guardian. His parents served as his court-appointed coguardians until they petitioned to have the OPG appointed as Nicholas's guardian pursuant to the Act. The county court appointed the OPG as Nicholas's guardian, but OPG later filed a motion for discharge, asserting that Nicholas's parents should be named successor guardians. After a hearing, the court granted the OPG's motion for discharge and directed that Nicholas's parents be appointed his successor coguardians. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the OPG failed to prove that its services were no longer necessary, and therefore, the county court erred in discharging the OPG under section 30-4117. View "In re Guardianship of Nicholas H." on Justia Law