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Nebraska Supreme Court

Leans Pro Government
Total Judgeships: 

7 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

Non-Partisan

Location(s): 
Lincoln
Caseload: 

70

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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 46: Project Arizona Part 3Listen Here
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County Given Sovereign Immunity Concerning Maintenance Inaction

Fri, 06/06/2014

Blaser v. County of Madison: Madison County failed to uphold the condition of a rural, vacated county road which resulted in the injury of the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed suit against the County on the grounds that since the road is a county road, the county has a duty to maintain the road and is responsible for upholding safe road standards. The lower courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff, supporting the claim that the county breached its duty.

Decision

The Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the lower courts. The Court ruled in favor of the County by granting them sovereign immunity and holding that the county has this immunity with respect to its discretionary functions. As a result, the Court concluded that the Country cannot be held liable for its inaction in maintaining its road.

Read the full decision here
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Defining "Seizure" in Violation of 4th Amendment

Fri, 05/30/2014

State v. Avey: Avey was pulling out of a parking lot when he hit another vehicle by failing to yield. He gave the driver of the other vehicle all the necessary information to file an insurance claim and then drove away. He was called back to the site by the police, who ended up giving him a DUI. Avey filed an appeal against the state on the grounds that the evidence against him was gathered in violation of his 4th Amendment rights since he was called back to the crash site (was “seized”) without probable cause.

Decision

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts by ruling in favor of the State, dismissing Avey’s request for appeal. The Court concluded that the officer recommended that Avey return to the site, versus demanded him to. Since Avey was called on a recommendation, he was not seized and therefore the officer did not violate his 4th Amendment rights. The fine line between what action is required when demanded by an officer, and what is recommended as highlighted by this case is an interesting case study in relation to possible consequences of refusing to act.

Read the full decision here
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Sticking to Your Obligations

Fri, 05/16/2014

State ex rel B.M. v. Brian F.: Brian F. signed an acknowledgement of paternity statement after the birth of B.M. in 1996 even though he had some suspicion that he was not the father. In 2011 Brian decided to take a paternity test and upon finding that he was not the father, after all of these years of paying child support, he sought to terminate his child support obligations. The lower courts, basing their decision on the genetic testing, ruled to terminate Brian’s obligations.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Nebraska reversed and remanded the decision of the lower courts. The Court ruled that Brian, through signing the paternity acknowledgement and by paying child support for more than a dozen years, has adopted the rights of being the father of the child and thus the findings of the genetic test are dismissible and irrelevant in relation to his child support obligations. Thus, the Court vacated the decision of the lower court, stating that the court abused its power by canceling Brian’s obligations and remanded the case for re-trial.

Read the full decision here