Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court on remand appointing an employee's "Form 50" physician and clarifying that it was not ordering a review of the employee's treatment regimen, holding that the order complied with this Court's mandate.Employee injured her back in the course and scope of her employment. As part of a settlement between Employee and her employer and its insurer (collectively, Employer), Employee completed a Form 50 anticipating that Employer would pay for treatment of Employee's injuries by her Form 50 physician. Employee chose a Nebraska doctor to serve as her Form 50 physician, but when she moved to Florida, she informed Employer that she had chosen a Florida doctor as her new Form 50 physician. Employer subsequently stopped paying for Employee's treatment. The compensation court ordered Employer to pay Employee's medical bills. The Supreme Court reversed, ruling that Employer was not required to pay for Employee's Florida medical treatment because Employee had not followed the statutory procedures to change her Form 50 physician. On remand, the compensation court appointed the Florida doctor as Employee's Form 50 physician. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the compensation court did not err in its order on remand. View "Rogers v. Jack's Supper Club" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court approving the Dodge County Board of Adjustment's grant of variance for a 4-H pigpen built in violation of county setback requirements, holding that competent evidence supported the district court's factual findings and that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion in approving the variance.The variance was based on, within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 23-168.03(1)(c), peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardships. In affirming the Board's decision to grant a variance, the district court found that the Board's decision was reasonable, well considered, and within the Board's discretion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not make an error of law or abuse its discretion in determining that the narrowness or shape of the property resulted in sufficient hardship to justify upholding the Board's decision to grant the variance. View "Dolezal-Soukup v. Dodge County Board of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court finding that E. Jane Egan lacked standing to challenge the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners' issuance of a special use permit allowing Randy Essink to construct and operate a poultry production facility on land within the county's agricultural zoning district and that the permit was appropriately issued, holding that the district court did not err.Egan and Janis Howlett challenged the Board's decision in the district court, asserting that the proposed poultry production facility would lead to adverse effects on the environment, properly values, public health, and local infrastructure. The district court affirmed the issuance of the special use permit, concluding that Egan did not have standing and that the permit was appropriately issued. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err by failing to find that Egan had standing and finding that the special use permit was properly approved. View "Egan v. County of Lancaster" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court reversing and vacating the decision of the County of Knox board of supervisors approving a conditional use permit for an expansion of H&H Cattle's feedlot to 20,000 head of cattle, holding that there was no merit to Defendants' appeal.In 2003, H&H Cattle, the predecessor in interest of Epic Land and Cattle, LLC, obtained an impact easement from the mother of Plaintiffs. Thereafter, the County's board of supervisors approved a conditional use permit for an expansion of H&H Cattle's feedlot to 7,500 head of cattle. Fourteen years later, H&H Cattle again sought expansion of its feedlot. Relying in part on the 2003 impact easement, the board of supervisors granted the conditional use permit. The district court reversed and vacated the decision approving the permit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err in finding Plaintiff was unable to execute an easement that bound the shares of her children; (2) Defendants' arguments regarding estoppel by deed and ratification were without merit; and (3) any reliance on the easement was not reasonable. View "Harts v. County of Knox" on Justia Law

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In this workers' compensation case, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the compensation court granting Donna Parks compensation for chronic pain and aggravation of her mental health issues, both caused by a work-related low-back injury, holding that there was no merit to Hy-Vee Inc.'s arguments on appeal.Parks incurred a work-related injury in 2008 while employed by Hy-Vee and was granted compensation for her low-back injury. In 2017, the compensation court entered a further award granting Parks compensation for chronic pain and aggravation of her mental health issues caused by the low-back injury. Thereafter, the court modified the further award upon Parks' motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the compensation court's further award was not based on legal error; (2) the record supported the court's findings of fact, upon which the further award was based; and (3) the compensation court did not abuse its powers in modifying the further award. View "Parks v. Hy-Vee, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court reversing and vacating the order of the Nebraska State Racing Commission directing Neb. Rev. Stat. 2-1207(2) funds collected by the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association, Inc. (HBPA) from Nebraska horse racing tracks be transferred to the Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders Association (NTBA), holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this matter.At issue was money accumulated from deductions of horse racing wagers under section 2-1207(2) and 2-1207.01 for the support, promotion, and preservation of agriculture and horse breeding in the state. The Commission granted NTBA's request to order the HBPA to pay all NTBA accumulated funds in the HBPA's possession to the NTBA Omaha Exposition and Racing, Inc. (OER) submitted a petition for judicial review. The district court reversed and vacated the Commission's order, concluding that the Commission erred by appointing NTBA as custodian and granting NTBA the authority collect and determine distribution of the deducted funds. The Supreme Court vacated the district court's order and dismissed this appeal, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to OER's failure to sufficiently serve NTBA and the Commission. View "Omaha Exposition & Racing, Inc. v. Nebraska State Gaming Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court affirming the decision of the Tax Commissioner denying Plaintiff's petition for redetermination of a sales tax deficiency assessment issued to Plaintiff by the Nebraska Department of Revenue, holding that there was no merit to Plaintiff's assignments of error.At issue on appeal was whether the district court erred in upholding the Department's determination that Plaintiff must pay sales or use tax on building materials it purchased and also must remit sales tax when it bills its customers for the same building materials once those materials are annexed to real property in the course of Plaintiff's "furnishing, installing, or connecting" of mobile telecommunications services under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2701.16(2)(e), even though Plaintiff used the previously taxed building materials to perform work for its customers. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there is no conflict between section 77-2701.16(2), which allowed Plaintiff to pay sales tax as a consumer, and section 77-2701.16(w)(e), which required Plaintiff to pay tax on the gross receipts it earned in the furnishing, installing, or connecting of mobile telecommunications services using those previously taxed goods. View "Diversified Telecom Services v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) in this action in which Plaintiff argued that TERC failed to adhere to the Supreme Court's mandate in a prior appeal and that, as a result, the Custer County assessor recorded the taxable value of his property incorrectly, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing the declaratory judgment action.Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the assessor and the TERC seeking an order declaring the meaning of the Supreme Court's prior opinion and directing the assessor to record the taxable value Plaintiff understood the prior opinion to require. The district court dismissed the TERC as a party and concluded that it did not have authority to enter a declaratory judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly declined to enter a declaratory judgment because mandamus was a superior remedy to declaratory judgment in this situation. View "Cain v. Lymber" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming the revocation of Appellant's motor vehicle operator's license for refusing to submit to a chemical test of his breath, holding that the district court's decision was not contrary to law and was supported by competent evidence.On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court erred in failing to find that the requirements for revocation of his driver's license were not satisfied. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the district court applied the correct legal framework; and (2) the district court's decision that Appellant failed to carry his burden to show that he took the chemical test was supported by competent evidence. View "Travis v. Lahm" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal of the district court's order dismissing Candyland, LLC's petition for review of the decision of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission denying Candyland's application for a retail Class C liquor license, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and, likewise, this Court lacked jurisdiction.Candyland applied to the Commission for a retail Class C liquor license. The Commission denied the application after a hearing. Pursuant to the APA, Candyland filed a petition on appeal. The district court dismissed the petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that Candyland had failed to obtain service of summons on the citizen objectors. The Supreme Court dismissed Candyland's appeal, holding that by failing to serve the summons and a copy of the petition on the citizen objectors within thirty days, Candyland failed to timely petition for review and the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the APA. View "Candyland, LLC v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission" on Justia Law