Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court reversing and vacating the order of the Nebraska State Racing Commission directing Neb. Rev. Stat. 2-1207(2) funds collected by the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association, Inc. (HBPA) from Nebraska horse racing tracks be transferred to the Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders Association (NTBA), holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this matter.At issue was money accumulated from deductions of horse racing wagers under section 2-1207(2) and 2-1207.01 for the support, promotion, and preservation of agriculture and horse breeding in the state. The Commission granted NTBA's request to order the HBPA to pay all NTBA accumulated funds in the HBPA's possession to the NTBA Omaha Exposition and Racing, Inc. (OER) submitted a petition for judicial review. The district court reversed and vacated the Commission's order, concluding that the Commission erred by appointing NTBA as custodian and granting NTBA the authority collect and determine distribution of the deducted funds. The Supreme Court vacated the district court's order and dismissed this appeal, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to OER's failure to sufficiently serve NTBA and the Commission. View "Omaha Exposition & Racing, Inc. v. Nebraska State Gaming Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court affirming the decision of the Tax Commissioner denying Plaintiff's petition for redetermination of a sales tax deficiency assessment issued to Plaintiff by the Nebraska Department of Revenue, holding that there was no merit to Plaintiff's assignments of error.At issue on appeal was whether the district court erred in upholding the Department's determination that Plaintiff must pay sales or use tax on building materials it purchased and also must remit sales tax when it bills its customers for the same building materials once those materials are annexed to real property in the course of Plaintiff's "furnishing, installing, or connecting" of mobile telecommunications services under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2701.16(2)(e), even though Plaintiff used the previously taxed building materials to perform work for its customers. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there is no conflict between section 77-2701.16(2), which allowed Plaintiff to pay sales tax as a consumer, and section 77-2701.16(w)(e), which required Plaintiff to pay tax on the gross receipts it earned in the furnishing, installing, or connecting of mobile telecommunications services using those previously taxed goods. View "Diversified Telecom Services v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) in this action in which Plaintiff argued that TERC failed to adhere to the Supreme Court's mandate in a prior appeal and that, as a result, the Custer County assessor recorded the taxable value of his property incorrectly, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing the declaratory judgment action.Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the assessor and the TERC seeking an order declaring the meaning of the Supreme Court's prior opinion and directing the assessor to record the taxable value Plaintiff understood the prior opinion to require. The district court dismissed the TERC as a party and concluded that it did not have authority to enter a declaratory judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly declined to enter a declaratory judgment because mandamus was a superior remedy to declaratory judgment in this situation. View "Cain v. Lymber" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming the revocation of Appellant's motor vehicle operator's license for refusing to submit to a chemical test of his breath, holding that the district court's decision was not contrary to law and was supported by competent evidence.On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court erred in failing to find that the requirements for revocation of his driver's license were not satisfied. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the district court applied the correct legal framework; and (2) the district court's decision that Appellant failed to carry his burden to show that he took the chemical test was supported by competent evidence. View "Travis v. Lahm" on Justia Law

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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