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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence for robbery, holding that none of Defendant’s argument on appeal warranted reversal of his conviction. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err when it admitted into evidence a note that was found in what Defendant claimed was an improper search of his person; (2) the district court did not err when it determined that Defendant was competent to stand trial and for sentencing; (3) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s conviction; (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Defendant; and (5) as to Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, the claims were either without merit, not sufficiently stated, or could not be reviewed on direct appeal. View "State v. Garcia" on Justia Law

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In this action for declaratory judgment the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the decision of the district court finding that the City of Imperial, Nebraska was financially responsible for $436 in medical costs incurred by a person who was arrested, holding that declaratory judgment was not available. An arrestee filed this declaratory judgment seeking a determination that the City was solely responsible for the medical expenses the arrestee incurred when he was required to submit to a physical examination before being placed in jail. The district court agreed that the City was responsible for the arrestee’s medical costs. The court of appeals reversed, determining that Chase County, Nebraska was the responsible party. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that declaratory judgment was not available due to the lack of a justiciable controversy between the parties. The Court remanded the cause with directions to vacate the district court’s judgment. View "Chase County v. City of Imperial" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting Defendant’s motion to vacate his sentence and withdraw the plea pursuant to the common-law procedure recognized in State v. Gonzalez, 830 N.W.2d 504 (2013), holding that the common-law procedure was not available to Defendant as a matter of law. Defendant pleaded no contest to second degree assault. After completing his sentence, Defendant moved to vacate his sentence and withdraw his plea pursuant to the Supreme Court’s holding in Gonzalez. In his motion, Defendant alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed to advise him of the deportation consequences of his plea-based conviction. The district court granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court erred in granting Defendant’s common-law motion because he had a remedy under the Nebraska Postconviction Act. View "State v. Jerke" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying, without a hearing, Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis, holding that the district court’s action was authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-2301.02. On appeal, Plaintiff did not challenge section 25.2301.02 but argued that the lack of a hearing in his case was unconstitutional. Plaintiff, however, did not file notice under Neb. Cr. R. App. P. 2-109(E) that is required for a party to present a case involving the constitutionality of a statute. The Supreme Court rejected Plaintiff’s argument on appeal, holding that notice under section 2-109(E) is required whenever the litigant implicitly challenges the constitutionality of a statute that, while not addressed in the appellate brief, explicitly authorizes the act the litigant claims is unconstitutional. View "Smith v. Wedekind" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction this appeal brought by the State appealing the order of the separate juvenile court of Douglas County, which vacated its previous order of adjudication and set the matter for further proceedings, holding that the order was not a final order appealable by the State. The juvenile court vacated a previous adjudication order based on acceptance of a “plea of no contest” to allegations made by the State against Maximus B. in an amended petition filed pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247. The juvenile court set a date for a formal pretrial hearing, determining that “a plea of no contest” is not a permitted answer under Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-279 where the petition alleges that the child is a juvenile violator under section 43-247. The State appealed, claiming that the juvenile court erred in determining that a plea of no contest is not permitted under section 43-279. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the juvenile court’s order was not a final order appealable by the State. View "In re Interest of Maximus B." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the county court’s entry of summary judgment declaring that the proceeds of the Estate of Mark Anthony Helms be distributed pursuant to a prior federal court judgment applying North Carolina law, holding that there was no genuine issue of material fact precluding summary judgment. Decades after Helms died in a terrorist bombing, the estate obtained a wrongful death judgment in federal court determining that Helms had been domiciled in North Carolina and not Nebraska and that damages would be distributed according to North Carolina law. Later the successor personal representative of the Estate filed a probate case in the county court for Butler County a petition to authorize distribution of the judgment proceeds under Neb. Rev. Stat. 30-810, a Nebraska wrongful death statute. The county court ordered distribution pursuant to the federal court judgment applying North Carolina law. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because of the binding effect of the federal court judgment, the Nebraska wrongful death statute did not apply. View "In re Estate of Helms" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences for first degree sexual assault of a child, incest with a person under eighteen years of age, and third degree sexual assault of a child, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on any of his claims raised on appeal. Specifically, the Court held (1) the age classifications defining sexual assault of a child in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-319.01(1)(a) and associated mandatory sentence in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-319.01(2) are not unconstitutional; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in its challenged evidentiary rulings; (3) the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant’s convictions; and (4) Defendant did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. View "State v. Hibler" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court construing the will at issue in this case and granting the decedent’s estate’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the county court had jurisdictional priority over the district court in construing the will in this matter. The decedent’s daughter sought a declaration of her rights under the decedent’s will as an alleged devisee. The estate asserted that the decedent disinherited the daughter in the will. The district court granted summary judgment for the estate, concluding that, under the clear and unambiguous terms of the will, Daughter was expressly disinherited by the will’s provisions. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the county court and the district court had exercisable concurrent jurisdiction over the construction of this will; (2) the county court, as the first court to acquire jurisdiction, retained it to the exclusion of the district court; and (3) because the county court neither transferred the case nor otherwise relinquished its jurisdictional priority, the district court improperly impinged on the county court’s jurisdictional priority in construing the will. View "Brinkman v. Brinkman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s imposition of an eight-month jail term upon revoking Defendant’s post-release supervision, holding that the district court’s order imposing a term of eight months’ imprisonment was not an abuse of discretion. After pleading guilty to a Class IV felony, Defendant was sentenced to twenty months’ imprisonment followed by twelve months’ post-release supervision. After the period of post-release supervision began, Defendant admitted to violating several conditions. The district court then revoked the post-release supervision and imposed a term of eight months’ imprisonment in county jail. On appeal, Defendant argued that the imposition of an eight-month jail term resulted in his imprisonment for a total of twenty-eight months for a Class IV felony, which exceeded the maximum sentence of twenty-four months’ imprisonment authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-105. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) when a court has revoked post-release supervision the maximum term of imprisonment that can be imposed is governed exclusively by Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-2268(2) and does not depend on the maximum sentence of initial imprisonment authorized under section 28-105; and (2) Defendant's term of eight months’ imprisonment was within the maximum term authorized by section 29-2268(2) an was not an abuse of discretion. View "State v. Wal" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant’s appeal from a condemnation of Appellant’s land by the City of Papillion, Nebraska for lack of jurisdiction but affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for sanctions, holding that it was error to dismiss the condemnation action appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The City condemned land owned by Appellant. Following nearly five years and one judicial recusal, the district court dismissed Appellant’s condemnation appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The court also denied Appellant’s motion for sanctions asserting that the City’s motion for summary judgment was legally frivolous. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court incorrectly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction under the circumstances of this case; and (2) the court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellant’s motion for sanctions. View "Pinnacle Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Papillion" on Justia Law