Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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291 Neb. Admin. Code ch. 3, 010.01C does not limit “open class” carriers to providing only prearranged transportation but allows carriers to also operate on a for-hire basis. Golden Plains Services Transportation, Inc. sought a declaratory ruling on the scope of services it could provide as an open class carrier. The Nebraska Public Service Commission interpreted Rule 010.01C to mean that “open class carriers may provide transportation to passengers for hire on a prearranged basis only” and may not “provide on-demand transportation services to passengers for hire.” The Supreme Court reversed and vacated the order releasing the Commission’s interpretation of Rule 010.01C, holding that the Commission’s interpretation was not supported by the language of such rule. View "In re Petition of Golden Plains Services Transportation, Inc." on Justia Law

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The State filed a petition against Mother and Father alleging that Child lacked prenatal care due to the fault or habits of Mother and Father. The juvenile court filed an ex parte order granting the State’s motion for temporary custody of Child with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). More than eight months later, the juvenile court entered an order ordering that Child remain in the temporary custody of DHHS until further order of the court. The Supreme Court vacated the juvenile court’s order, holding that Mother’s procedural due process were violated by the unreasonable delay of more than eight months between the filing of the ex parte order for immediate temporary custody and the filing of the protective custody order. View "In re Interest of Carmelo G." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed a Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) order adjusting value that increased the “majority land use grass” subclass of the agricultural and horticultural land class of real property not receiving special value within Webster County in the amount of six percent. The Supreme Court held that, in adjusting the level of value for grassland upward by six percent, TERC did not improperly rely on Nebraska’s Property Tax Administrator’s statistical reports and opinion, as (1) the Administrator’s required reports under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-1327 are competent evidence to support a TERC equalization order without setting out information about each real property transaction that was used for the statistical analysis; and (2) Webster County failed to meet its burden that TERC should not rely on the Administrator’s reports. View "County of Webster v. Nebraska Tax Equalization & Review Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that “medical assistance” provided to Medicaid recipients includes costs for room and board and other “nonmedical” expenses at nursing facilities, and therefore, those costs can be recovered from the recipient’s estate. In this case, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) filed a petition for allowance of a claim for services provided to the decedent while he resided at two different nursing homes. The county court sustained DHHS’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that the services defined as room and board fell within the parameters of services provided under the Medical Assistance Act. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that DHHS was statutorily authorized to recover the sums it paid for room and board costs and other expenses from the decedent’s estate. View "In re Estate of Vollmann" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was the adjustment of the valuation of three subclasses of residential real property in Douglas County. The Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) issued an order to show cause why it should not increase the valuation of two properties by seven percent and decrease the valuation of a third property by eight percent. TERC voted to adjust the valuations. Douglas County filed a motion to reconsider, which the TERC commissioners overruled. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) TERC’s order to decrease the valuation of one property by eight percent was not supported by competent evidence and was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable; (2) TERC’s order to increase the valuation of the other two properties was supported by competent evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable; and (3) TERC did not abuse its discretion by denying Douglas County’s motion to reconsider its order. View "County of Douglas v. Nebraska Tax Equalization & Review Commission" on Justia Law

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The Nebraska Department of Revenue and the acting Tax Commissioner denied, in part, the requested refunds of Farmers Cooperative and Frontier Cooperative Co. (collectively, the Cooperatives). The district court affirmed. The Cooperatives sought refunds of sales and use taxes paid on the purchase of repairs and parts for agricultural machinery and equipment under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2708.01. At issue in these consolidated appeals was how the phrase “depreciable repairs or parts” within section 77-2708.01 should be interpreted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in affirming the partial denial of the Cooperatives’ requested refunds based upon its interpretation of section 77-2708.01. View "Farmers Cooperative v. State" on Justia Law

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The Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) adjusted upward by eight percent the value of the “land use grass” subclass of the agricultural and horticultural land class of real property in Franklin County not receiving special valuation. Franklin County appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed TERC’s order adjusting the Franklin County grassland value upward by eight percent, holding (1) TERC did not err in relying on the statistics prepared by the Property Tax Administrator; (2) there was no merit to Franklin County’s argument that TERC violated Neb. Const. art. VIII by failing to uniformly and proportionally value grasslands in the state; and (3) Franklin County’s remaining assignments of error were without merit. View "County of Franklin v. Tax Equalization & Review Commission" on Justia Law

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In 2013 and 2014, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued orders and closing notices to holders of surface water permits for natural flow and storage in the Republic River Basin. Several appropriators, on behalf of themselves and a class of farmers who irrigate with water delivered by the Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District, subject to Nebraska’s allocation of water under the Republican River Compact, brought these actions alleging regulatory takings claims against the State and the DNR. The district court consolidated the claims and granted the State and the DNR’s motions to dismiss both of the appropriators’ causes of action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the DNR’s streamflow administration did not result in a taking under the Nebraska Constitution because the Compact, as federal law, supersedes the appropriators’ property interests; and (2) the alleged failure of DNR to regulate ground water pumping did not amount to a taking because DNR does not have a duty to regulate ground water. View "Hill v. State" on Justia Law

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Medicine Creek LLC filed a request for a variance from the Middle Republican Natural Resources District’s (MRNRD) moratorium on new well drilling. MRNRD voted to deny the variance. Medicine Creek sought judicial review pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 46-750 and the Administrative Procedure Act. The district court reversed, concluding that MRNRD’s decision was not supported by the evidence, did not conform to the law, and was therefore arbitrary. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the order denying Medicine Creek’s request for a variance was judicial in nature and was appealable to the district court; and (2) the district court committed plain error by applying the wrong standard of review rather than the de novo standard. Remanded. View "Medicine Creek LLC v. Middle Republican Natural Resources District" on Justia Law

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David Leon Frederick sent a public records request to the City of Falls City administrator requesting certain records in the physical custody of Falls City and the Falls City Economic Development and Growth Enterprise, Inc. (EDGE). The administrator provided records in the physical custody of Falls City, but EDGE’s executive director refused to provide the requested records to Frederick or Falls City, claiming that EDGE was not a public entity and that its records were not public records. The Supreme Court agreed with EDGE and reversed the district court’s order compelling EDGE to produce the requested records. After Frederick learned that Falls City did not produce all requested records in its possession pursuant to his public record request, he filed a motion to reopen his case against the City and EDGE. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in overruling Frederick’s motion to reopen the case because reopening the case would not lead to any remedy for Frederick. View "Frederick v. City of Falls City" on Justia Law