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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting relief to Appellant in the form of a new sentencing hearing. Appellant was sentenced in 1974 to life imprisonment for a murder he committed when he was seventeen years old. After Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), and State v. Mantich, 842 N.W.2d 716 (2014), were decided, Appellant filed a postconviction motion seeking a new sentencing hearing. The district court resentenced Appellant to 110 to 126 years in prison, with credit for time served. The court stated that Appellant would be eligible for parole after serving fifty-five years. Appellant appealed, arguing that the district court imposed an excessive sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in resentencing Appellant to 110 to 126 years in prison. View "State v. Russell" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Defendants (collectively, the doctors) in this medical negligence action brought by the administrator of the estate of Paul Hemsley (the Estate). In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants were negligent in the rendering of medical care and treatment to Hemsley. The jury found for the doctors. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not fail to perform its Daubert/Schafersman gatekeeping function in admitting the testimony of the doctors’ expert witnesses that Defendants met the standard of care; and (2) the district court did not err in overruling the Estate’s post trial motions. View "Hemsley v. Langdon" on Justia Law

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In this special proceeding before Michael Heavican, the Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court, Heavican concluded that Robert Krist be included on the primary election ballot as a Democratic candidate for Nebraska governor. Tyler Davis objected to the inclusion of Krist’s name on the primary ballot, alleging that Krist’s candidate filing form was not effective because Krist made a change of political party affiliation in violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. 32-612. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale denied the objection, determining that Krist was a nonpartisan registered voter with no political party affiliation prior to February 12, 2018, and therefore, his Nebraska voter registration application filed that day declaring his “Party Affiliation” as a Democrat was a declaration of a political party affiliation, not a change of political party affiliation. Heavican concluded that Gale properly denied Davis’ objection, concluding that non-partisan is not a “political party affiliation” but rather is the lack of a political party affiliation. View "Davis v. Gale" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the separate juvenile court transferring Steven S.’s case to county court, holding that there was no abuse of discretion in the transfer. The State charged Steven, a juvenile, with escape and simultaneously filed a motion to transfer Steven’s case from juvenile court to county court. The juvenile court concluded that the State had proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the matter should be transferred to county court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, upon the Court’s de novo review of the record, the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in ordering that Steven’s case be transferred to county court. View "In re Interest of Steven S." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the county court overruling Kaitlyn Coble’s motion to seal the record of her citation for two misdemeanors that were subsequently dismissed and the order of the district court affirming the county court. On appeal, Coble argued that the district court erred by affirming the county court’s order overruling her motion to seal. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without reaching the merits of the appeal, holding that the county court lacked jurisdiction to consider Coble’s motion because the motion was not authorized by statute. As a result, the district court and this Court lacked jurisdiction to review the merits of the county court’s order. View "State v. Coble" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court for Butler County that reversed the decision of the Butler County Board of Supervisors to deny an application by Butler County Landfill, Inc. (BCL) to expand its solid waste disposal landfill area located in Butler County. On appeal, the Board claimed that the district court erred in determining that the Board acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it denied BCL’s application. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without reaching the merits of the appeal, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to enter its order, and therefore, this Court lacked jurisdiction over this appeal. View "Butler County Landfill v. Butler County Board of Supervisors" on Justia Law

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In this case brought by a former patient who sued his psychiatrist for medical malpractice, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for the psychiatrist. The Court held (1) the district court did not err in granting the patient a ninety-day continuance of the summary judgment hearing for only the limited purpose of giving the patient more time to hire an expert witness; (2) the district court did not err in relying on the psychiatrist’s affidavit in which he averred that he had met the applicable standard of care; and (3) the patient was not prejudiced by the court’s refusal to enter exhibit 35, which contained the patient’s first set of requests for admission and the psychiatrist’s responses, into evidence at the summary judgment hearing or by its denial of Lombardo’s motion for a protective order under HIPAA. View "Lombardo v. Sedlacek" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, holding that Defendant’s assignments of error were without merit. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred by not admitting photographs he claimed supported his defense that another individual committed the murders and that his collective sentence of ninety to 140 years’ imprisonment was the functional equivalent of a sentence of life imprisonment. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the photographs by reasoning that the small amount of relevance was outweighed by Neb. Evid. R. 403; and (2) Defendant, who was a juvenile at the time the crimes were committed, received the protections required by Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). View "State v. Trotter" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, holding that Defendant’s assignments of error were without merit. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred by not admitting photographs he claimed supported his defense that another individual committed the murders and that his collective sentence of ninety to 140 years’ imprisonment was the functional equivalent of a sentence of life imprisonment. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the photographs by reasoning that the small amount of relevance was outweighed by Neb. Evid. R. 403; and (2) Defendant, who was a juvenile at the time the crimes were committed, received the protections required by Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). View "State v. Trotter" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court terminating Defendant’s post-release supervision “unsatisfactorily,” holding that the district court erred in terminating post-release supervision. After finding that Defendant had violated his post-release supervision, the district court decided that it was not appropriate to revoke the supervision and so terminated the post-release supervision altogether. The Supreme Court vacated the sentencing order and remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding (1) under the circumstances of this case, the district court was authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-2268(3) to either order a reprimand or warning, intensify supervision or reporting, impose additional conditions of probation, impose custodial sanctions, or extend the term of probation; and (2) because the district court did none of these, the sentencing order was erroneous and resulted in an excessively lenient sentence. View "State v. Kennedy" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law