Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal of the district court's order dismissing Candyland, LLC's petition for review of the decision of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission denying Candyland's application for a retail Class C liquor license, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and, likewise, this Court lacked jurisdiction. Candyland applied to the Commission for a retail Class C liquor license. The Commission denied the application after a hearing. Pursuant to the APA, Candyland filed a petition on appeal. The district court dismissed the petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that Candyland had failed to obtain service of summons on the citizen objectors. The Supreme Court dismissed Candyland's appeal, holding that by failing to serve the summons and a copy of the petition on the citizen objectors within thirty days, Candyland failed to timely petition for review and the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the APA. View "Candyland, LLC v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the decision of a state agency ruling several noncitizen applicants ineligible for all public benefits of the Bridge to Independence program (B2I), holding that the district court did not err in determining that applicants were not eligible for B2I. The applicants in this case were Guatemalan citizens who fled to Nebraska as minors. Each applicant was adjudicated pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(3)(a) and placed in foster care. The applicants, who had already received special immigration juvenile status, applied to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for B2I. DHHS denied the applications because each applicant failed to meet the citizenship and lawful presence requirements. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in determining that the applicants were not eligible for B2I because the applicants were not "lawfully present" and the legislature did not "affirmatively provide[]" for unlawful applicants to be eligible under the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-4501 to 43-4514. View "E.M. v. Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeals from orders of the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) that granted applications requesting changes to existing boundaries so that the applicants could receive advanced telecommunications services from another service provider in lieu of service from Appellant, holding that Appellant's notices of intention to appeal were not timely filed with the PSC. The PSC entered orders in both cases on July 10, 2018. Appellant subsequently submitted motions for rehearing requesting that the PSC reconsider its orders. Each motion was file stamped as having been received by the PSC on July 23. On August 21, the PSC entered orders denying the motions for rehearing. On September 13, in each case, Appellant filed a notice of intention to appeal with the PSC. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals for lack of jurisdiction, holding (1) based on the file stamps, the motions for rehearing were not filed within ten days of the effective date of the respective orders; (2) under Neb. Rev. Stat. 75-134.02, the motions did not suspend the time for filing a notice of intention to appeal; and (3) therefore, Appellant's notices of intention to appeal were filed beyond the thirty-day time limit allowed under section 75-136(2) to perfect appeals from the July 10 orders. View "In re Application No. C-4973 of Skrdlant" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming a county board of adjustment's decision affirming the zoning administrator's grant of a zoning permit for construction of a new residence within an agricultural intensive district, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion. The zoning administrator approved a zoning permit for the new residence. Appellants appealed, arguing that the zoning permit was for a "non-farm residence," and therefore, the construction was not permitted under zoning regulations. The board affirmed the zoning administrator's decision, and the district court affirmed. At issue in this appeal was whether the proposed residence was a "non-farm residence" under the applicable zoning regulations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the board of adjustment correctly determined that the new residence was not a "non-farm residence." View "Hochstein v. Cedar County Board of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC), which reduced the county's $16.3 million valuation of commercial real estate used as an ethanol plant to $7.3 million based upon the taxpayer's appraisal, holding that there was no error appearing on the record. The original $16.3 million valuation in this case was based upon mass appraisal techniques. TERC reduced the value based upon the appraisal of the taxpayer, finding that because the appraiser performed the appraisal according to professional approved standards his appraisal report was competent evidence sufficient to rebut the presumption in favor of the Board of Equalization's determination affirming the county assessor's valuation of the property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that TERC's determination that the Board's valuation was unreasonable and arbitrary was supported by competent evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. View "Wheatland Industries v. Perkins County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the court of appeals' decision reducing Terry Bortolotti's weekly income benefit awarded by the workers' compensation court from the maximum to the minimum and eliminating the award of out-of-pocket medical expenses, holding that the reduced weekly benefit was correct but that the medical expense award should be reinstated. In upholding the reduced weekly benefit, the Supreme Court held (1) the compensation court erroneously based the determination of Bortolotti's average weekly wage on a superseded and inoperative pleading, and the court of appeals' determination of average weekly wage was supported by competent evidence in the record; and (2) as to Bortolotti's medical expenses, the court of appeals failed to give Bortolotti's testimony the inferences mandated by the deferential standard of review. View "Bortolotti v. Universal Terrazzo & Tile Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the Public Service Commission's (PSC) grant of an application filed by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP for approval of a major oil pipeline route and eminent domain authority and finding that the "Mainline Alternative Route" (MAR) was in the public interest, holding that TransCanada carried its burden of proving that the MAR was in the public interest and that the errors assigned by intervenors in the proceedings were without merit. The MAR approved by the PSC was a thirty-six-inch major oil pipeline and related facilities to be constructed through Nebraska. Landowners, two Indian tribes, and the Sierra Club all intervened in the proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed on appeal, holding (1) the PSC had jurisdiction to consider TransCanada's application; (2) TransCanada met its burden of proof; (3) the PSC properly considered the MAR; and (4) the intervenors were afforded due process. View "TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP v. Dunavan" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the order of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission granting Abay, LLC a Class D liquor license for its convenience store but restricting Abay from offering "single can sales" and "spirits/wine sales less than .375," holding that there was competent evidence in the record for the district court's decision and that it was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. On judicial review, the district court determined that the Commission's restrictions on Abay's liquor license were within the Commission's authority under the Nebraska Liquor Control Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 53-101 to 53-1,122, were reasonable, and were not arbitrary or capricious. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Act empowers the Commission to include conditions on a liquor license if those restrictions are consistent with the purpose of the Act and are reasonably necessary to the protection of the health and welfare of the people of the State and to the promotion and fostering of temperance in the consumption of alcohol; and (2) the district court's order was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable, and there was competent evidence in the record for its decision. View "Abay, LLC v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court upholding the decision of the City of Omaha Zoning Board of Appeals denying Appellants' request for a variance from the requirements of Omaha's zoning code based on a claim of unnecessary hardship, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion in upholding the Board's decision. Appellants owned a 4.66-acre parcel of land that was zoned for agricultural use. After the City of Omaha Planning Department concluded that the property was being used for activities not permitted by ordinance in an agricultural district Appellants applied for a variance requesting waiver that would allow them to deviate from zoning requirements. The Board denied Appellants' request for a variance. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that competent evidence supported the district court's findings and its conclusion that Appellants' situation did not warrant a variance under Neb. Rev. Stat. 14-411. View "Bruning v. City of Omaha Zoning Board of Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court affirming the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission's order cancelling Appellant's liquor license, holding that the Commission and the district court disregarded the plain language of the Commission's "disturbance rule," 237 Neb. Admin. Code ch. 6, 019.01F. The Commission found that Appellant violated the disturbance rule when it "allowed or permitted a disturbance" at an event it hosted. The district court concluded that the record supported the Commission's findings. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court erred in agreeing with the Commission that the disturbance occurred when Appellant hosted the event because the regulation applies only where a licensee allows any unreasonable disturbance "to continue without taking the steps" as set forth in the rule. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission and the district court ignored the words "to continue," and therefore, the decisions below did not conform to the law. View "McManus Enterprises v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission" on Justia Law