Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for violating a domestic abuse protection order, holding that there was sufficient evidence that Defendant was personally served with the protection order. On appeal, Defendant argued that his conviction must be reversed because the service return the State introduced at trial did not specifically state that Defendant was served with the protection order he allegedly violated. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) in cases alleging a violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-924(4), in which the defendant does not receive the notice described in Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-926(2), the State must demonstrate that the defendant was personally served with the protection order; (2) the State in this case was required to demonstrate that Defendant was personally served with the order affirming the protection order; and (3) there was sufficient evidence of such service. View "State v. Gomez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court dismissed the State's appeal from a district court order finding Defendant indigent and entitled to court-appointed appellate counsel at the expense of Washington County, holding that the court's order was neither a judgment nor a final, appealable order. On appeal, the State argued that the district court abused its discretion in finding Defendant indigent and entitled to court-appointed appellate counsel because Defendant failed adequately to provide his financial situation, acquired undisclosed additional funds during the pendency of the underlying action, and had sufficient assets to pay for his legal counsel. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the district court's order was not a judgment or a final, appealable order. View "State v. Fredrickson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court dismissed these consolidated appeals in which Appellants argued that the county court erred by concluding it lacked jurisdiction to decide motions to transfer their felony criminal cases to juvenile court, holding that the county court lacked jurisdiction, and therefore, the Supreme Court also lacked jurisdiction. The State filed complaints in county court charging Appellants with felonies. Appellants filed motions asking the county court to transfer their respective cases to juvenile court. In both cases, the county court issued orders stating that it did not have jurisdiction to rule on a motion to transfer to juvenile court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the county court correctly found that it lacked jurisdiction over Appellants' motions to transfer to juvenile court; and (2) because the county court lacked jurisdiction over the motions to transfer, this Court lacked jurisdiction over these appeals. View "State v. A.D." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and sentences, holding that Defendant's assignment of error related to excessive sentences of incarceration was moot and that the district court did not err in calculating time served and the order of costs and restitution as part of the sentences. Defendant pleaded guilty to misdemeanors related to the unauthorized use of a third-party's financial accounts and the misuse of the party's credit cards. The plea agreement included restitution to the businesses defrauded by the transactions, as well as restitution to the third-party. After the pleas were entered but before sentencing Defendant absconded to Oregon for almost eight years. Defendant was eventually arrested in Oregon, extradited to Nebraska, and sentenced. On appeal, Defendant claimed her sentences were excessive and that the court erred in its calculation of credit for time served and in failing to consider her inability to pay the restitution and costs ordered as part of her sentences. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because Defendant completed serving the sentences, her assignment of error alleging excessive sentences was moot; and (2) Defendant's remaining assignments of error were without unavailing. View "State v. McCulley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court affirming the judgment of the county court convicting Defendant of solicitation of prostitution, holding that there was no merit to Defendant's claim that he was selectively prosecuted for solicitation based on gender. Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence and statements and served subpoenas duces tecum claiming that he had been selected prosecuted based on his gender. The county court quashed the subpoenas and denied Defendant's motions to suppress and to dismiss. The court then convicted Defendant of the offense. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that neither the county court nor the district court erred when it found that Defendant had not been selectively prosecuted based upon his gender. View "State v. Valentino" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for third-offense driving under the influence, holding that the district court did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress or in denying Defendant's motion for a new trial. After a law enforcement officer stopped Defendant a breath test showed that Defendant had an elevated blood alcohol level. On appeal, Defendant challenged, among other things, the denial of her motion to suppress the evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) under the totality of the circumstances, the officer's seizure of Defendant was supported by a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of criminal activity; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendant's motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. View "State v. Krannawitter" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the district court erred in sustaining Defendant's motion to quash an information for revocation of probation, holding that a probation violation allegation asserting a law violation from a new charge of possession of methamphetamine is not a "substance abuse" violation having a prerequisite of ninety days of cumulative custodial sanctions. Defendant was convicted of possession of methaphetamine. The court imposed a sentence of specialized substance abuse supervision probation. One of the conditions of probation required Defendant to "not use or possess any controlled substance." Eight months later, the State filed an information for revocation of probation alleging that Defendant intentionally possessed methamphetamine. Defendant moved to quash the information for revocation of probation, claiming that, under Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-2267(3), revocation proceedings could not be instituted for a substance abuse violation because the State did not allege or show that she had served ninety days of cumulative custodial sanctions during the probation term. The Supreme Court sustained the State's exception and remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding that Defendant's alleged violation was not a substance abuse violation but a law violation, and therefore, the district court erred in quashing the information for revocation of probation. View "State v. Jedlicka" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting the State's motion to dismiss Appellant's motion for DNA testing under the DNA Testing Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-4116 to 29-4125, holding that the district court's factual findings were not clearly erroneous, and the court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the motion for DNA testing. Defendant entered no contest pleas to aiding and abetting second degree murder and aiding and abetting first degree sexual assault. Defendant later filed a motion seeking DNA testing of numerous items of evidence under the DNA Testing Act. The court authorized testing on four items of evidence. After receiving the DNA test results the State moved to dismiss the proceeding, alleging that the results neither exonerated nor exculpated Defendant. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly dismissed the proceeding. View "State v. Amaya" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the district court's motion for postconviction relief without a hearing, holding that because Appellant did not even attempt to demonstrate that he was prejudiced as a result of appellate counsel's deficient performance, Appellant was not entitled to postconviction relief. After Appellant's convictions were affirmed on appeal Appellant filed a petition for postconviction relief. As the basis for his petition, Appellant argued that his appellate counsel was ineffective and that he was not required to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by his counsel's deficient performance. The district court denied postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant was required to demonstrate prejudice under Strickland and failed to do so. View "State v. Assad" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the separate juvenile court adjudicating Appellant for the act of attempted theft by unlawful taking, $5,000 or more, holding that Appellant was not entitled to reversal of her convictions. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the juvenile court did not err by (1) overruling Appellant's motion to quash; (2) denying Appellant's demand for jury trial; and (3) finding that Appellant committed the act of attempted theft by unlawful taking, $5,000 or more because the State presented sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of property involved was $5,000 or more. View "In re Interest of Zoie H." on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law