Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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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

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's order affirming the denial of LeVeta Winslow's 2016 application for Medicaid benefits, holding that Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care properly determined that Winslow was ineligible for Medicaid due to excess resources. DHHS determined that Winslow was ineligible for Medicaid because her resources, which included a house, were above $4,000. The district court affirmed the denial of benefits, finding that the house did not qualify for Winslow's home and thus was not exempt from consideration as an available resource as Winslow's home. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly determined that the house was not subject to the home exemption for Winslow's Medicaid application; (2) the district court erred in determining that the property was not eligible for the other real property exception because Winslow lacked authority to liquidate while it was held by a revocable trust; and (3) Winslow failed to provide sufficient documentation that she was under the available resource limit if she could exclude the house, and therefore, the district court did not err in failing to find that DHHS was required to provide Winslow an IM-1 form for the house while it was held by the trust. View "Winslow v. State ex rel. Peterson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming the decision of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) terminating Appellant's status as a Medicaid service provider, holding that the district court's affirmance of the sanction imposed by DHHS was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. Based on Appellant's failures to adhere to the standards for participation in Medicaid, DHHS terminated Appellant's provider agreements for good cause and then informed Appellant of her permanent exclusion from the Medicaid program. The DHHS director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care ruled that DHHS' decision to terminate Appellant as a Medicaid service provider was proper. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the court's finding that Appellant billed for overlapping services was based on competent evidence; and (2) DHHS' sanction to permanently exclude Appellant from the Medicaid program was not arbitrary or capricious. View "Tran v. State" on Justia 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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The Supreme Court affirmed the rulings of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court determining what constitutes the term “employer” under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-116 of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, in imposing liability on CMR Construction & Roofing of Texas, LLC (CMR), and in finding that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Texas Mutual Insurance Co., holding that the court did not err. The compensation court concluded that CMR was a statutory employer under section 48-116, thus requiring CMR to compensate Juan Martinez for injuries he sustained while acting as an employee of a CMR subcontractor. The court further found that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Texas Mutual, a workers’ compensation insurance company domiciled and having its principal place of business in Texas. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the compensation court did not err in finding that CMR was the statutory employer of Martinez and in imposing liability; (2) the compensation court lacked personal jurisdiction over Texas Mutual; and (3) the court did not err in awarding Martinez attorney fees and future medical care and in determining that Martinez had sustained an eighty-percent loss of earning capacity. View "Martinez v. CMR Construction & Roofing of Texas, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims seeking a declaratory judgment that a redevelopment project in the City of Falls City was not planned or adopted in accordance with the Community Development Law, Neb. Rev. Stat. 18-2101 to 18-2144, and requesting a permanent injunction to prevent the project from proceeding, holding that all of Plaintiffs’ assignments of error were without merit. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) all of Plaintiffs’ claims challenging the procedure by which the redevelopment project was adopted and the validity and enforceability of the redevelopment agreement and bond were foreclosed by sections 18-2129 and 18-2042.01; and (2) two meetings challenged in this suit did not violate Nebraska’s Open Meetings Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-1407 to 84-1414. View "Salem Grain Co. v. City of Falls City" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing the State’s complaint filed against Walter E.’s father, Mark E., to establish an order of support, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the State’s complaint. The juvenile court adjudicated Walter to be a child within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(3)(a) and ordered him to remain in the custody of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for placement at the Boys Town main campus. The court rather ordered that DHHS be responsible for all costs required by the placement. The State later filed a complaint on behalf of Walter and against Mark. The State alleged that Walter was in need of financial support from Mark and that Mark had a duty of support for Walter. The district court dismissed the State’s complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because there was an existing support order issued by the juvenile court, the district court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the complaint filed by the State under section 43-512.03(1)(a). View "State ex rel. Walter E. v. Mark E." on Justia Law