Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Juvenile Law
In re Interest of Elijahking F.
The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court's adjudication of Appellant for obstruction of a peace officer, holding that serving a protection order falls within the preservation of the peace element of the misdemeanor offense and that the State proved the remaining elements.On appeal, Appellant argued that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime of obstructing a peace officer. The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed the juvenile court's order adjudicating Appellant to be a child within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(1), holding that the State adduced sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. View "In re Interest of Elijahking F." on Justia Law
In re Gunner B.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court denying Gunner B.'s motion for a new trial after the juvenile court entered an order finding that Gunner was a child within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(1), holding that Gunner's assignments of error were without merit.The State filed a petition alleging that Gunner was a child within the meaning of section 43-247(1) and had committed sexual assault in the third degree, as that crime is set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-320(1) and (3). The juvenile court found that Gunner was a child within the meaning of section 43-247(1) and set the case for disposition. After the juvenile court denied Gunner's ensuing motion for a new trial Gunner appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's assignments of error were without merit and that the evidence was sufficient to prove Gunner's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. View "In re Gunner B." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Victor L.
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
In re Interest of A.A.
The Supreme Court denied the motion for attorney fees and expenses against the State by the intervenor in a juvenile proceeding who successfully appealed a final order during the pendency of the case, holding that the State's limited waiver of sovereign immunity set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1804(1) did not apply to the fees and expenses sought.On appeal, the parties disputed whether the juvenile proceedings were a civil action and whether they were brought by the State and whether the State was substantially justified in its position. The Supreme Court held (1) the State's position in bringing and maintaining the underlying petition for adjudication was substantially justified; and (2) accordingly, no statute provided for the recovery of the intervenor's attorney fees and expenses incurred in this appeal. View "In re Interest of A.A." on Justia Law
In re Prince R.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court adjudicating Prince R. as a child who lacked proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of his parents, holding that the juvenile court did not err.In its adjudication petition, the State asserted that Prince's parents had failed to ensure that Prince received necessary medical care after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After a hearing, the juvenile court found that Prince lacked proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of the parents and that the parents' actions placed Prince at a definite risk of harm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the juvenile court did not err by adjudicating Prince as a child that lacked proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of his parents. View "In re Prince R." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Seth C.
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of restitution entered by the separate juvenile court after Juvenile admitted to an amended allegation of disturbing the peace and quiet of another person, holding that the juvenile court had the authority to order restitution for medical expenses so long as such order was in the interest of the juvenile's reformation or rehabilitation.As a term of probation, the juvenile court ordered Juvenile to pay $500 in restitution for the victim's medical expenses. Juvenile court argued on appeal that the Nebraska Juvenile Code does not authorize a juvenile court to order restitution for medical expenses incurred by a victim. The Supreme Court affirmed the order of restitution for medical expenses, holding (1) Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-286(1)(a) authorized the juvenile court to order Juvenile to pay restitution for medical expenses; and (2) there was sufficient evidence to support a finding that Juvenile caused the victim's injuries and to support the amount of restitution ordered, and the order of restitution was in the interest of Juvenile's reformation and rehabilitation. View "In re Interest of Seth C." on Justia Law
State v. A.D.
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
In re Interest of Giavonni P.
The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the juvenile court placing Giavonni P. At the Lincoln Regional Center (LRC), holding that the juvenile court had the authority to place Giavonni at the LRC on a specific date or otherwise.The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services appealed, arguing that the placement orders usurped the LRC's statutory authority to administer and manage its patient admission and discharge process. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the order in this case was final; (2) this Court reaches the merits of these appeals under the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine; (3) the juvenile court had the authority to order this placement; and (4) while an adult facility was not the optimal choice for a juvenile offender, Giavonni's placement at the LRC was in his best interests at the time of his placement. View "In re Interest of Giavonni P." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Reality W.
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the separate juvenile court adjudicating Reality W. as being habitually truant from school, holding that the statutory defenses to adjudication under Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-209(2)(b) and 43-276(2) did not apply based on the record in this case.On appeal, Reality asserted that her school failed in its obligation to address barriers to attendance under section 79-209(2)(b) and that there was insufficient evidence that the county attorney made reasonable efforts to refer her and her family to community-based resources prior to filing a petition, as required under section 43-276(2). The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the juvenile court correctly concluded that Reality did not have a defense to adjudication under section 79-209; and (2) Reality did not have a defense to adjudication under section 43-276(2). View "In re Interest of Reality W." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Michael N.
In these appeals arising from juvenile proceedings involving Michael N. and his parents (Parents), the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the issues raised by the County Attorney's Office and that the issues raised by Parents in their appeals had either been waived or had no merit.After an appeal to the court of appeals and the State's dismissals and refilings of petitions, Parents separately moved to dismiss based on lack of service. Parents also moved, unsuccessfully, for recusal of the trial judge. The juvenile court ordered that the County Attorney's office be removed as counsel for the State and ordered the appointment of a special commissioner. Thereafter, the juvenile court denied the motions to dismiss and entered a detention order requiring that Michael remain in the temporary custody of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Multiple appeals were then filed. The Supreme Court held (1) this Court lacked jurisdiction over the County Attorney's Office's appeal from the order removing it from the case and appointing a special prosecutor; (2) Parents' appeals of the order denying their motions to dismiss and the detention order had been waived; and (3) there was no merit to Parents' arguments challenging the order overruling their motions to recuse. View "In re Interest of Michael N." on Justia Law