Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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Kerford Limestone Co. purchased a motor grader for use in its manufacturing business and claimed an exemption from sales and use tax on the purchase. The State Tax Commissioner concluded that Kerford had failed to prove the motor grader was exempt manufacturing machinery and equipment. The district court (1) reversed the Commissioner’s determination that to qualify for an exemption, Kerford was required to show that the motor grader was used in manufacturing at least fifty percent of the time; (2) affirmed the Commissioner’s determination that Kerford’s use of the motor grader to maintain “haul roads” was not an exempt use; and (3) remanded for a determination of whether use of the motor grader to maintain inventory stockpile areas qualified Kerford for an exemption. The Supreme Court reversed the portion of the district court’s order that remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding (1) Kerford’s use of the motor grader to maintain inventory stockpile areas was a use in manufacturing; and (2) therefore, Kerford was entitled to an exemption from sales and use tax on its purchase of the motor grader. Remanded to the district court with direction to enter an order granting Kerford the exemption. View "Kerford Limestone Co. v. Neb. Dep't of Revenue" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed this action against Prairie Fields Family Medicine, P.C., bringing claims of intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy and alleging that a Prairie Fields employee disclosed her positive HIV test results to a third party, and as a result, the information spread throughout the community where Appellant did business and had friends. The district court (1) dismissed Appellant’s invasion of privacy claim, concluding that it was time barred; and (2) granted summary judgment for Prairie Fields on Appellant’s claims for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, concluding that Appellant failed to create an issue of fact that someone from Prairie Fields had disclosed her diagnosis to a third party. The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s summary judgment order, holding that Appellant raised a genuine issue of material fact that someone at Prairie Fields disclosed information from her private medical records. Remanded. View "C.E. v. Prairie Fields Family Med., P.C." on Justia Law

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Orfa Torres applied for a domestic abuse protection order against her boyfriend, Benjamin Morales. The district court issued an order to show case. After a hearing, the district court vacated its order to show cause, dismissed the case, and required Torres to pay the costs of the action. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the order dismissing the cause, holding that the district court did not err in failing to issue the protection order because Torres did not provide some evidence of abuse as defined under Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-903(1); and (2) reversed the portion of the order requiring Torres to pay costs, holding that because the facts in Torres’s affidavit were not false and the order was not sought in bad faith, the district court erred in taxing costs to Torres. View "Torres v. Morales" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of first degree murder, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a deadly weapon by a felon. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences on appeal. Appellant subsequently filed a motion for postconviction relief, making numerous claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err when it concluded that Appellant’s claims were without merit and denied his motion for postconviction relief. View "State v. Robinson" on Justia Law

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SourceGas Distribution, LLC owned property located in an area that had been annexed by the City of Hastings. The City, on behalf of the board of public works, filed a petition in the county court under the general condemnation procedures found at Neb. Rev. Stat. 76-101 through 76-726, seeking to initiate condemnation proceedings against the property owned by SourceGas. In an effort to enjoin the county court proceedings, SourceGas Distribution filed a complaint in the district court for temporary and permanent injunction, primarily alleging that the City must utilize Nebraska’s Municipal Gas System Condemnation Act (the Act) rather than the procedures in chapter 76. The district court overruled the motion for temporary injunction and dismissed the complaint, concluding that Neb. Rev. Stat. 19-4626(2) exempted the City from being required to proceed under the Act and that the City could utilize chapter 76’s general condemnation procedures. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly concluded that, pursuant to the exception set forth in section 19-4626(2), the Act does not apply in this case and, instead, the general condemnation procedures of chapter 76 apply. View "SourceGas Distrib., LLC v. City of Hastings" on Justia Law

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Mother and Father, who were not married, had a relationship during which Mother became pregnant. Mother sought to place the child up for adoption. Father attempted to prevent the adoption proceedings by filing an amended petition to establish the necessity of his consent to the adoption. The county court granted summary judgment for Mother, determining that Father did not comply with Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-104.02 by objecting to the adoption within five business days of the child’s birth. The Supreme Court reversed. On remand, the county court held (1) Mother intentionally hid the child’s birth from Father and was therefore equitably estopped from relying on the five-day time limit for objections; and (2) Father’s consent to any proposed adoption of the child was required. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the county court did not err in finding (1) Mother failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that Father neglected or abandoned the child; (2) Mother did not prove parental unfitness by clear and convincing evidence; and (3) Mother’s conduct excused Father’s failure to provide reasonable financial support for Mother and the child and reasonable financial support during Mother’s pregnancy. View "Jeremiah J. v. Dakota D." on Justia Law

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The State filed a petition alleging that Samantha C. was a juvenile as defined by Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(3)(b) for being habitually truant from school. Samantha argued that the juvenile court could not adjudicate her under section 43-247(3)(b) because her school had failed to comply with the remedial measures set forth in the compulsory education statutes. The juvenile court rejected Samantha’s argument and entered an order adjudicating Samantha as being habitually truant from school. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the State was not required to first prove Samantha’s school’s compliance with the compulsory education statutes because the Nebraska Juvenile Code and the compulsory education statutes are separate statutory enactments with distinct purposes and goals; and (2) the State met its burden of proving that Samantha was habitually truant from school under section 43-247(3)(b). View "In re Samantha C." on Justia Law

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Russell Reichert sued Sherry Hara in small claims court, claiming that Hara owed him for a $4,000 loan he gave her. The court found the transaction was a loan and entered judgment for Reichert. Hara subsequently filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in the district court, alleging that the $4,000 was a gift and not a loan. The district court dismissed Hara’s complaint, concluding that the action was barred by both claim preclusion and issue preclusion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) claim preclusion, but not issue preclusion, applies to small claims court judgments; and (2) the elements of claim preclusion were satisfied in this case, and therefore, the district court correctly dismissed Hara’s action. View "Hara v. Reichert" on Justia Law

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Appellants filed a products liability action against Daimler-Chrysler Corporation after they were involved in a rollover collision while driving their Chrysler PT Cruiser. Appellants later filed a complaint for declaratory relief against Allianz Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft (“Allianz”), an international insurance company that provided insurance to Chrysler, alleging that Allianz had a duty to defend Chrysler in the underlying action. The district court granted summary judgment for Allianz and dismissed the complaint. Twenty months later, Appellants filed a complaint to vacate the summary judgment. The district court sustained Allianz’s motion to dismiss the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the time for exercise of the district court’s inherent power to vacate its judgment had expired; (2) the district court lacked jurisdiction to vacate its judgment because Appellants did not properly serve Allianz; and (3) the district court did not err in invoking its equity jurisdiction to vacate where Appellants had an adequate remedy at law. View "Carlson v. Allianz Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft" on Justia Law

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Attorney represented Plaintiff in a negligence lawsuit against Defendant. After a jury trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff. Attorney subsequently made an oral motion for payment of attorney fees and costs in the underlying negligence lawsuit. The district court granted the motion. The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s order granting Attorney’s oral motion and dismissed Plaintiff’s appeal because (1) Attorney never filed a petition in intervention, and therefore, at the time of his oral motion, Attorney was not a party to the suit; (2) furthermore, Attorney stated at the time he made his motion that he no longer represented Plaintiff; and (3) therefore, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to decide Attorney’s oral motion for payment. View "Wisniewski v. Heartland Towing, Inc." on Justia Law