Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court dismissing Appellants’ claim seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and fraudulent misrepresentation after discovering hail damage to the roof of a real property they were under contract to purchase from Appellees. The district court dismissed the complaint with prejudice and without leave to amend, concluding that the damage was reasonably ascertainable by Appellants. In reversing, the Supreme court held that the district court erred when it granted Appellees’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim because Appellants alleged sufficient facts to state claims that were plausible on their face. View "Burklund v. Fuehrer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the valuations of certain grassland properties owned by the Betty L. Green Living Trust and the Richard R. Green Living Trust (the Trusts) that had been established by the county assessor and approved by the county board of equalization (the Board). In its decision, TERC concluded that the Trusts did not present competent evidence to rebut the presumption that the Board faithfully performed its duties and had sufficient competent evidence to make its determinations. The Supreme Court affirmed TERC’s order, holding that TERC’s decision conformed to the law, was supported by competent evidence, and was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable. View "Betty L. Green Living Trust v. Morrill County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment against Borrowers in this action brought by Bank seeking to recover a deficiency owed by Borrowers after it exercised powers of sale under deeds of trust. On appeal, Borrowers argued, among other things, that the district court erred in awarding an excessive verdict for Bank that was unsupported by the evidence. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence to support the amount of damages awarded by the district court; and (2) the district court did not err by refusing Borrowers’ requested jury instructions. View "First National Bank North Platte v. Cardenas" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment against Borrowers in this action brought by Bank seeking to recover a deficiency owed by Borrowers after it exercised powers of sale under deeds of trust. On appeal, Borrowers argued, among other things, that the district court erred in awarding an excessive verdict for Bank that was unsupported by the evidence. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence to support the amount of damages awarded by the district court; and (2) the district court did not err by refusing Borrowers’ requested jury instructions. View "First National Bank North Platte v. Cardenas" on Justia Law

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At issue in these forty appeals, consolidated into four for purposes of appeal, was whether the individual landowners were entitled to an award of attorney fees under Neb. Rev. Stat. 76-726. Just prior to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP’s eminent domain proceedings seeking to acquire right-of-way and other property interests in constructing an oil pipeline, certain property owners - including some of the same landowners involved in these eminent domain proceedings - filed a constitutional challenge to the pipeline route. TransCanada then dismissed its condemnation petitions, except that the Holt County petitions were dismissed in order for TransCanada to pursue approval of a pipeline route by the Public Service Commission. The landowners filed motions for attorney fees and costs. In each case, the county court granted the requests for attorney fees. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that none of the landowners established that they were entitled to attorney fees under the circumstances. View "TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP v. Nicholas Family Ltd. Partnership" on Justia Law

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At issue in these forty appeals, consolidated into four for purposes of appeal, was whether the individual landowners were entitled to an award of attorney fees under Neb. Rev. Stat. 76-726. Just prior to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP’s eminent domain proceedings seeking to acquire right-of-way and other property interests in constructing an oil pipeline, certain property owners - including some of the same landowners involved in these eminent domain proceedings - filed a constitutional challenge to the pipeline route. TransCanada then dismissed its condemnation petitions, except that the Holt County petitions were dismissed in order for TransCanada to pursue approval of a pipeline route by the Public Service Commission. The landowners filed motions for attorney fees and costs. In each case, the county court granted the requests for attorney fees. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that none of the landowners established that they were entitled to attorney fees under the circumstances. View "TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP v. Nicholas Family Ltd. Partnership" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court order granting summary judgment in favor of Heritage Bank in this action for forcible entry and detainer against James Gabel, C.J. Land & Cattle, L.P., and MCGFF, LLC after James failed to pay rent on farmland pursuant to a lease agreement. In its order, the district court concluded that Heritage Bank was the trustee of the Charles L. Gabel Revocable Trust, that Defendants did not timely deliver the 2015 crop payment to the trustee, that Defendants had notice they were not in compliance with the terms of the lease, and that the defect was not cured within a reasonable amount of time. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the record supported the district court’s finding that Heritage Bank was the trustee and had standing to bring this action; but (2) genuine issues of material fact remained regarding the other issues raised by Defendants, precluding summary judgment. View "Heritage Bank v. Gabel" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the decision of the Custer County Assessor regarding the 2012 taxable value of Donald V. Cain, Jr.’s agricultural property. On appeal, Cain argued, among other things, that the TERC violated his due process rights by not permitting him to argue how the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof applied to the adduced evidence. The court held (1) Cain waived the due process rights applicable in Liljestrand v. Dell Enterprises, 842 N.W.2d 575 (2014); and (2) TERC erred in affirming the Assessor’s valuations of Cain’s property for the 2012 tax year. View "Cain v. Custer County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the decision of the Custer County Assessor regarding the 2012 taxable value of Donald V. Cain, Jr.’s agricultural property. On appeal, Cain argued, among other things, that the TERC violated his due process rights by not permitting him to argue how the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof applied to the adduced evidence. The court held (1) Cain waived the due process rights applicable in Liljestrand v. Dell Enterprises, 842 N.W.2d 575 (2014); and (2) TERC erred in affirming the Assessor’s valuations of Cain’s property for the 2012 tax year. View "Cain v. Custer County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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Royal filed a quiet title action against his predecessors in interest and against Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) alleging fee title ownership of land along the railroad right-of-way passing through his Otoe County property by adverse possession. OPPD counterclaimed, alleging that it had acquired fee simple title to that same land, also by adverse possession. The district court granted Royal default judgment as to his predecessors, but following a trial, denied both Royal’s and OPPD’s claims of title. The Nebraska Supreme Court vacated the entry of default as “leading to an illogical result” in extinguishing the rights of the former owners. The court affirmed as to OPPD, which owns an easement over the right-of-way and not a fee simple. That easement was obtained in 1869; its uses are permissive and a direct or incidental use associated with the operation of a rail line. Under Nebraska law, a permissive use is not adverse and cannot ripen into ownership by adverse possession. The court also affirmed as to Royal. While expert testimony indicated that some of the land had been used for farming, it did not support the conclusion that it was done for a continuous period sufficient to prove adverse possession. Royal acknowledged that he had not continuously lived on the property and had not continuously assisted with its farming. View "Royal v. McKee" on Justia Law