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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the decision of the district court quieting title to certain property in favor of Vandelay Investments, LLC and dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint, holding that the record did not support providing Plaintiff with a remedy he was not statutorily entitled to. Plaintiff’s complaint requested that the court set aside Vandelay’s tax deed and permit him to exercise a right of redemption. The district court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice and quieted title in favor of Vandelay. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, determining that Vandelay had failed to comply with statutory notice requirements before applying for the tax deed, rending its deed void. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Vandelay complied with the statutory notice requirements before applying for the tax deed; and (2) Plaintiff failed to prove that the extension to the statutory redemption period for an owner with a mental disorder applied. View "Wisner v. Vandelay Investments, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without conducting an evidentiary hearing, holding that Appellant was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims that trial counsel failed to file notice of and present evidence of his alibi defense and failed to investigate information regarding potential suspects. Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and other crimes. After his convictions and sentences were affirmed on direct appeal, Defendant moved for postconviction relief, raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and a claim of actual innocence. The district court denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that Defendant was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims relating to his alibi defense and the failure to investigate information related to potential suspects. View "State v. Stricklin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without conducting an evidentiary hearing, holding that the district court erred in denying Appellant an evidentiary hearing on his claim that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and present certain alibi evidence. Appellant was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder and other crimes. In his motion for postconviction relief, Appellant raised claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and a claim of actual innocence. The district court denied the postconviction motion without an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded for an evidentiary hearing limited to Defendant’s claim relating to his alibi defense and otherwise affirmed. View "State v. Newman" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of two counts of sexual assault of a child in the first degree and other crimes and sentencing Defendant to consecutive terms totaling between 180 years’ to life imprisonment, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below requiring reversal. Specifically, the Court held that the district court (1) did not err in refusing to give Defendant’s proposed jury instruction on sex trafficking of a minor; (2) did not abuse its discretion in overruling Defendant’s motions for mistrial and in overruling his evidentiary objections; and (3) did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Defendant. View "State v. Swindle" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court ruling in favor of Plaintiff on his claim that Defendants failed to pay him for work he performed on their residence, holding that there was no merit to Defendants’ assignments of error on appeal. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in finding that Plaintiff was entitled to recover under the theory of unjust enrichment when a contract existed between the parties and Plaintiff had a statutory remedy of foreclosure on his construction lien; (2) there was evidence to support the unjust enrichment recovery; and (3) the district court did not err in denying Defendants’ motion to transfer venue. View "Bloedorn Lumber Co. v. Nielson" on Justia Law

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In this workers’ compensation case, the Supreme Court affirmed the compensation court’s findings that Plaintiff was entitled to benefits and that the court did not have jurisdiction to resolve issues regarding a third-party settlement but reversed the compensation court’s denial of Plaintiff’s request that she be awarded penalties, attorney fees, and interest. Plaintiff was driving a school bus when the bus was struck by a drunk driver, injuring Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s employer (Employer) paid workers’ compensation benefits for a time but refused to pay benefits when Plaintiff asserted that she was permanently disabled as a result of her injuries. The workers’ compensation court concluded (1) Plaintiff was entitled to additional benefits; (2) the court did not have jurisdiction to grant relief requested by Employer concerning a settlement that Plaintiff entered into with the third party who caused her injuries; and (3) Plaintiff was not entitled to penalties, attorney fees, and interest. The Supreme Court held that the compensation court (1) correctly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to resolve disputes related to Plaintiff’s settlement with the third-party tortfeasor; (2) correctly found that Plaintiff was entitled to permanent partial disability benefits; but (3) was clearly wrong in denying Plaintiff penalties, attorney fees, and interest because there was no reasonable controversy regarding her entitlement to benefits. View "Gimple v. Student Transportation of America" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s successive motion for postconviction relief on the grounds that the motion was time barred under the one-year limitations period of Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3001(4), holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder and other offenses. Appellant was sentenced to death for each of the murders. Appellant later filed this successive motion for postconviction relief, alleging that his death sentences were unconstitutional under Hurst v. Florida, __ U.S. __ (2015), and Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __ (2015). The district court determined, sua sponte, that the successive motion was time barred under section 29-3001(4) and denied postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly determined that Appellant’s successive postconviction motion was time barred; and (2) the district court did not err in the procedure it followed. View "State v. Torres" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the declaration of the district court that the fair market value of Fred Assam’s ownership interest in the law firm of Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP (FPM) was $590,000. After Assam voluntarily withdrew from the firm, FPM filed this suit seeking a declaration of the parties’ rights under a governing partnership agreement. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order declaring Assam’s interest in FPM to be $590,000 and that FPM should pay Assam that amount according to the terms of the agreement, holding that the district court did not err by (1) finding there was no conflict between District of Columbia and Nebraska substantive law governing the determination of Assam’s equity interest; (2) finding FPM did not breach the partnership agreement; (3) adopting the opinion of FPM’s expert in determining Assam’s equity interest; and (4) failing to award Assam a money judgment and attorney fees. View "Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP v. Assam" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Contracts

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The Supreme Court held that the county court erred when it declined to make special factual findings for Juvenile to apply for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J) on the grounds that it was not a “juvenile court” for purposes of the statute. Juvenile’s grandfather (Grandfather) sought to be appointed as Juvenile’s guardian and requested that the county court make special findings of fact contemplated in section 1101(a)(27)(J) to potentially become eligible for SIJ status. The county court appointed Grandfather as Juvenile’s legal guardian but declined to make the requested special findings of fact that Juvenile could use in his immigration petition based on its conclusion that it did not constitute a “juvenile court” for SIJ findings purposes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a county court with a jurisdictional basis under Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1238(a) and which has made a child custody determination, such as appointing a guardian, has authority to make factual findings consistent with 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J)(i) and (ii); and (2) the county court erred when it made a custody determination under section 43-1238(a) but then refused to make special findings under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J)(i). View "In re Guardianship of Luis J." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the county court erred when it concluded that the appointed guardian (Guardian) of her juvenile nephew (Juvenile) had not satisfied 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J) and therefore denied Guardian’s motion to make special factual findings that are necessary to apply for SIJ status under the statute. In denying Guardian’s request to make special findings to be used in immigration proceedings, the county court stated that Juvenile was “not dependent on this court” and that Guardian had not satisfied the dependency or custody component of section 1101(a)(27)(J). During the pendency of this appeal, the Nebraska Legislature amended Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1238(b) to clarify that courts with jurisdiction over initial child custody determinations under section 43-1238(a) also have jurisdiction and authority to make special findings of fact similar to the findings of fact contemplated by section 1101(a)(27)(J). The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding that because the county court made a custody determination under section 43-1238(a), it erred when it concluded that it had not made a custody determination for purposes of section 1101(a)(27)(J)(i). View "In re Guardianship of Carlos D." on Justia Law