Articles Posted in Government Law

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Appellant, an inmate incarcerated at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI), filed a petition for declaratory judgment alleging that TSCI operational memorandums that generally limited an inmate’s access to the law library to one hour per day violated his right to access the courts. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees, finding that Appellant did not show an actual injury caused by the library time regulations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no material factual dispute that the law library regulations did not hinder a nonfrivolous and arguably meritorious legal claim regarding Appellant’s sentences or conditions of confinement. View "Payne v. Neb. Dep’t of Corr. Servs." on Justia Law

Posted in: Government Law

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For the tax year 2011, the county assessor decided to assess property taxes on parcel of land owned by Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) but leased to private parties. Central protested the tax assessment, and the Board of Equalization recommended not taxing the land. The Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirmed, concluding that the parcels should not be taxed because Central had already made a payment in lieu of tax pursuant to Neb. Const. art. VIII, 11 for the relevant tax year. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed TERC’s finding that Central was not subject to property taxes for tax year 2011 because it had already made a payment in lieu of tax for that year; but (2) vacated the portion of TERC’s order that could be interpreted to mean that a lessee’s property tax obligation is included in Central’s payment in lieu of tax, as the issue of a lessee’s liability was not before TERC. View "Conroy v. Keith County Bd. of Equalization" on Justia Law

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Appellant, an over-the-road truck driver, filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, alleging that he sustained injuries in the form of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in an accident that occurred during the course and scope of his employment. The compensation court applied a split test of causation used in heart attack cases, which requires proof of both legal and medical causation. The court then dismissed Appellant’s claim for failure to establish the medical cause prong. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Appellant’s claim, holding (1) the split test was properly applied to Appellant’s injuries in this case, as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism present the same difficulties in attributing the cause of a heart attack to a claimant’s work and are similar in origin to a heart attack; and (2) the compensation court’s finding as to causation was not clearly wrong.View "Wingfield v. Hill Bros. Transp., Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2009, Appellant suffered injuries to both of his knees in a work-related accident. Appellant filed a request for loss of earning compensation. The Workers’ Compensation Court concluded that, notwithstanding findings of permanent impairment, because no permanent physical restrictions were specifically assigned by an expert for Appellant’s left knee, the court could not perform a loss of earning capacity calculation authorized under the third paragraph of Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-121(3) and that Appellant was thus limited to scheduled member compensation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the compensation court erred as a matter of law in concluding that there must be expert opinion of permanent physical restrictions as to each injured member in order to perform a loss of earning capacity calculation under section 48-121(3). Remanded.View "Rodgers v. Neb. State Fair" on Justia Law

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The City of Fremont paved on block of a street and assessed the paving costs against abutting property owners. The City relied on Nebraska’s “gap and extend” law, which permits a city to “pave any unpaved street…which intersects a paved street for a distance of not to exceed one block on either side of such paved street” to authorize the paving. Appellees, legal titleholders of property that abutted upon and was adjacent to the street, filed a petition on appeal, alleging that the levy of special assessments was invalid. The district court sustained Appellees’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that the City did not comport with the limitations and restrictions required by the gap and extend law. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the plan language of the statute authorized the paving. Remanded with direction to enter judgment in favor of the City.View "Johnson v. City of Fremont" on Justia Law

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Matthew Kim was working at a retail clothing store when the store was robbed and Kim was shot multiple times. Kim filed for workers’ compensation benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Court found (1) Kim was entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits; (2) Kim’s inpatient treatment for chemical dependency, as well as an emergency room visit were compensable; and (3) Kim was entitled to payment of future medical expenses. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the compensation court (1) was not clearly wrong in finding Kim temporarily totally disabled and awarding him TTD benefits; (2) did not err in finding that the emergency room visit was related to the shooting and was compensable; (3) did not err in concluding that the inpatient treatment was compensable; and (4) did not err in finding that Kim was entitled to future medical expenses.View "Kim v. Gen-X Clothing, Inc." on Justia Law