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The Supreme Court reversed the declaratory and injunction entered by the district court enjoining the City of Arapahoe, Nebraska from enforcing an ordinance against Brooke Wilkison to prohibit his retention of a pit bull at his home within the city limits, holding that Brooke failed to show that allowing him to retain the dog in his home was necessary. The district court's order determined that the city ordinance, if enforced against Brooke, would violate the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601 to 3619, by permitting a discriminatory housing practice and precluding Brooke from mitigating the ill effects of his handicap by living with his emotional assistance animal. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court did not err in holding that the FHA applies to the ordinance enacted by the city; but (2) Brooke failed to prove that an accommodation from the city's ban on certain breeds of dogs was essential to his equal enjoyment of his property. View "Wilkison v. City of Arapahoe" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the county court accepting the resignation of the trustee for a trust fund created for the perpetual care and maintenance of the Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum, ordering the trustee to pay trustee fees, attorney fees, costs, and expenses incurred during the prosecution of the petition, and failing to provide for future trust management. The Trustee in this case sought to terminate the perpetual care trust due to circumstances not anticipated at the time the trust was created. Myrtle Hughbanks, Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery Association, Inc., and others opposed terminating the trust. The county court found that the Cemetery Association lacked standing and accepted the resignation of the Trustee. The Cemetery Association and Hughbanks appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed the county court's denial of the parties' motions for attorney fees but reversed the order of discharge and associated award of fees, holding (1) in addition to Hughbanks, the Cemetery Association possessed standing; and (2) due to the perpetual nature of a mausoleum trust, the county court erred in granting the Trustee's request for resignation and discharge without the Trustee's having identified and requested the appointment of a successor trustee. View "Bank of the West v. Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery Ass'n" on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for first degree sexual assault, holding there was no merit to Defendant's assignments of error. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the authenticity for "Snapchat" evidence and that the prosecutor committed misconduct by commenting on Defendant's use of an interpreter. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the "Snapchat" evidence was properly authenticated, and therefore, trial counsel did not perform deficiently in failing to object to it; (2) there was no plain error in the prosecutor's closing argument; (3) there was no error in Defendant's assignments alleging that the evidence was insufficient and that his sentence was excessive; and (4) the record was insufficient to reach Defendant's other ineffective assistance of counsel claims. View "State v. Mrza" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion seeking post conviction relief from his conviction of third degree sexual assault of a child, second offense and sentence of fifty years' imprisonment, holding that Defendant could not prevail on any of his assignments of error. In his motion for postconviction relief Defendant argued that his trial counsel was ineffective at trial and on appeal. The district court denied the motion following an evidentiary hearing. Defendant appealed, asserting various grounds in support of his argument that the district court erred in denying his motion for postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no merit to any of Defendant's arguments on appeal. View "State v. Fuentes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed a decree dissolving Sharon Leners' marriage to Stacy Leners, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Stacy his entire pension in equitably dividing the marital estate and that the court's determinations regarding custody, parenting time, child expenses, and attorney fees were not an abuse of discretion. On appeal, Sharon argued that the court erred in interpreting federal law regarding retirement benefits that may be available for equitable distribution, awarding joint custody and equal parenting time, failing to allocate child expenses, and awarding attorney fees to Stacy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court did not abuse its discretion in (1) awarding Stacy his railroad pension, (2) ordering shared custody and parenting time, (3) addressing reasonable and necessary child expenses, and (4) awarding attorney fees. View "Leners v. Leners" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court upholding the order of the Nebraska Department of Insurance determining that Mark Diamond, a licensed insurance producer, had violated three provisions of the Insurance Producers Licensing Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 44-4047 to 44-4069, and imposing an administrative fine, holding that the district court's decision conformed to the law, was supported by competent evidence, and was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable. On appeal, Diamond argued that his confession of liability in the consent judgment did not "admit" to "fraud" within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 44-4059(1)(g). The Supreme Court disagreed after applying settled rules of statutory interpretation, holding (1) because Diamond did not report the consent judgment taken against him in another jurisdiction within thirty days of the final disposition of the civil action, he violated section 44-4065(1), and the Department had the authority to levy an administrative fine; and (2) within the meaning of section 44-4059(1)(g), Diamond's confession of liability in the consent judgment constituted an admission of fraud. View "Diamond v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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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

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court finding that it lacked jurisdiction over the assessment decision of the Board of Equalization of the City of Omaha exercising a quasi-judicial function as a result of Appellant's failure to file an appeal bond with the city clerk within twenty days, holding that the statutory scheme requires that an appellant execute a bond with the city clerk within twenty days, which Appellant did not do in this case. Appellant personally appeared before the Board to protest a proposed special assessment to be levied on his property. The Board denied Appellant's protest. The City Council for the City of Omaha subsequently levied the special assessment on Appellant's property. Appellant appealed, The district court found that Appellant had failed to comply with Neb. Rev. Stat. 14-813 by not filing an appeal bond with the city clerk within twenty days, thus dismissing Appellant's appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly dismissed Appellant's appeal for lack of jurisdiction. View "Glasson v. Board of Equalization of City of Omaha" on Justia Law

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In this declaratory judgment action in which ex-husband (Husband) sought a declaration that he was entitled to one-half of the proceeds of a home awarded to the ex-wife (Wife) in the divorce decree and sold two years later when Wife decided to remarry, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court declaring that Wife had timely refinanced the house and that, therefore, Husband was not entitled to one-half of the proceeds from its later sale, holding that the district court's judgment was correct. A provision in the dissolution decree stated that Wife would have the home refinanced into her own name within twelve months of entry of the decree and that, if she did not, the house should be sold and the parties should equally divide any proceeds. Wife was approved for refinancing within one year of the entry of the dissolution decree, but the bank did not schedule closing on the refinance until thirteen months after the entry of the dissolution decree. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Wife made a good faith effort to complete refinancing within twelve months and Husband did not incur any harm as a result of the delay in closing, the sale of the house and equal division of the proceeds was not required. View "Bayne v. Bayne" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision affirming the decision of the State Personnel Board dismissing Appellant's grievance challenging her termination as a teacher at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, holding that the district court did not err in affirming the dismissal of Appellant's grievance. After the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) terminated Appellant's employment for cause Appellant completed a grievance form challenging her termination. Appellant initiated the grievance proceedings provided by the government collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The proceedings concluded with the Board dismissing Appellant's grievance appeals. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant waived the right to continue to pursue her grievance under the terms of the CBA, and therefore, the district court did not err in affirming the Board's dismissal of Appellant's grievance. View "Bower-Hansen v. Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services" on Justia Law