Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the district court’s exclusion of untimely disclosed expert opinions regarding medical bills in order to enforce progression orders in an automobile negligence case. The court of appeals reversed the judgment in favor of Defendants, concluding that the district court abused its discretion in excluding, as a discovery sanction, nearly all of Plaintiff’s medical bills, as well as testimony from Plaintiff’s expert witness that the bills were reasonable and necessary. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court did not need to apply the factors set forth in Norway v. Union Pacific Railroad, 407 N.W.2d 146 (Neb. 1987) to enforce its progression order; and (2) it was not an abuse of discretion to exclude evidence disclosed more than one year after the discovery deadline imposed by the court’s progression order. View "Putnam v. Scherbring" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s dismissal of this appeal, applied the savings clause of Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1144.01, and reinstated the appeal, holding that, contrary to the conclusion of the district court, the notice of appeal was timely filed. Plaintiff sued Defendants to collect amounts due on a guaranty. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff. One day after judgment on the verdict was entered, Plaintiff filed a motion for costs and Defendants filed a motion for new trial. The court granted the motion for costs and overruled the motion for new trial. Defendants then filed a notice of appeal. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the appeal, holding that the appeal time did not start to run until the motion for new trial was ruled upon, and because Defendants filed their notice of appeal within thirty days of that date, their appeal should not have been dismissed as untimely. View "Lindsay International Sales & Service v. Wegener" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order denying an intervener’s motion to intervene in her own behalf in this complaint alleging breach of a lease. Streck, Inc. filed a complaint against the Ryan Family, LLC alleging that the LLC breached a lease agreement containing an option to purchase real property and seeking specific performance. After the LLC responded, a member of the LLC moved to intervene in her own behalf and on behalf of the LLC. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the intervenor failed to allege a direct and legal interest sufficient to support intervention in the litigation between the LLC and Streck. View "Streck, Inc. v. Ryan Family, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this appeal from an order denying intervention in a corporation dissolution, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the intervenors were seeking only to relitigate matters already decided by the court. Specifically, the court held (1) because the intervenors were seeking to use intervention as a vehicle for relitigating issues previously determined by the court, the complaint in intervention was properly stricken; and (2) the intervenors’ argument that even if their interests did not support statutory intervention the district court should have permitted them to intervene as a matter of equity was not appropriate for consideration on appeal. View "Wayne L. Ryan Revocable Trust v. Ryan" on Justia Law

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J.S., a student at a middle school, was suspended for fifteen days for a post made on a social media website that caused a substantial disruption at her school. J.S. requested an administrative hearing to contest her removal. The superintendent and board of education each upheld J.S.’s suspension. J.S. filed a petition with the district court to appeal the board’s decision. The district court affirmed, concluding that the suspension did not exceed the authority provided by Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-264 and 79-267. J.S. appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that J.S. failed to seek district court review in the mode and manner provided by statute, and therefore, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Student Discipline Act. As a result, the district court’s decision was void. View "J.S. v. Grand Island Public Schools" on Justia Law

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In this dispute arising from a party’s failure to perform on a promissory note Steven Anderson filed a complaint against Steve Finkle alleging breach of contract and quantum meruit or unjust enrichment. After trial but before the trial court issued its order, Anderson died. Thereafter, the district court issued an order awarding Anderson the amount of the promissory note plus interest. Finkle filed a motion for new trial and then the estate filed a motion for revivor. The district court overruled Finkle’s motion and granted the estate’s motion reviving the matter in the name of the personal representative of the estate. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals in both cases, holding (1) because of Anderson’s death, the district court lacked jurisdiction to enter judgment and deny Finkle’s motion for new trial, and therefore these orders were void, and Finkle’s first appeal did not divest the district court of its jurisdiction; and (2) this court was without jurisdiction to entertain Finkle’s appeal of the order of revivor because it was not a final order. View "Anderson v. Finkle" on Justia Law

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Linda Clarke filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha (FNB) alleging that she, rather than Gregg Graham, was the owner of a certificate of deposit. FNB filed a third-party action seeking recovery against Graham to the extent FNB was liable to Clarke. The parties filed competing motions for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment for Clark against FNB and in favor of FNB against Graham. Graham filed a motion for new trial. Before the court had ruled on the motion, Graham filed his notice of appeal. FNB filed a motion for summary dismissal, arguing that the court of appeals lacked jurisdiction because the notice of appeal was prematurely filed. The court of appeals overruled the motion for summary dismissal. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that Graham’s notice of appeal was prematurely filed and, therefore, was without effect. View "Clarke v. First National Bank of Omaha" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant seeking to establish paternity, custody, and support of the parties’ minor child. Thereafter, Plaintiff moved to disqualify Defendant’s privately retained legal counsel. The district court granted the motion. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider, which the district court denied. Defendant then filed a purported appeal from the court’s order, assigning seven errors relating to the district court’s disqualification of her attorney. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding (1) this Court improperly exceeded its statutory and constitutional authority twenty years ago when it adopted the so-called Richardson exception to the final order requirement, and therefore, the Court’s line of decisions purporting to authorize an interlocutory appeal are hereby overruled; and (2) because the appeal from the order at issue in this case is not statutorily authorized, the appeal is dismissed. View "Heckman v. Marchio" on Justia Law

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Ginger Cove Common Area Company sued Scott Wiekhorst for unpaid assessments. Wiekhorst filed a counterclaim alleging that Ginger Cover violated its fiduciary duty. After a bench trial, the district court entered judgment against Wiekhorst. Wiekhorst appealed, challenging an order entered two months earlier that overruled his motion to vacate or set aside an order of sanctions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Wiekhorst properly waited until final judgment to appeal; but (2) because Wiekhorst failed to present a record to support his assigned error, this Court affirms the lower court’s decision regarding that error. View "Ginger Cove Common Area Co. v. Wiekhorst" on Justia Law

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In 2004, Michael Burns and Kerry Burns divorced. This appeal involved a contempt proceeding between the parties that was pending before the district court for Adams County. Judge James Doyle, acting as the district judge for Adams County, issued an order requiring Kerry to appear in the Dawson County District Court and show cause why she should not be held in contempt for refusing to comply with prior orders. When Kerry did not appear for the show cause hearing the district court entered an order finding Kerry in contempt and sanctioning her to ten days in jail. Thereafter, Kerry moved the district court to vacate its order on the basis that the court did not have authority to hold an evidentiary hearing outside of the county in which it was sitting. The district court overruled Kerry’s motion to vacate. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court did not act in conformity with the law when it ordered Kerry to appear in Dawson County and when it held the contempt hearing there because Dawson County was outside the pending county of Adams County. Remanded. View "Burns v. Burns" on Justia Law