Justia Juvenile Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court
In re Interest of Ricardo T.
The case involves the State of Nebraska's appeal against a juvenile court's order transferring jurisdiction of a child welfare case involving five Native American children to the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court. The case centered on the interpretation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (NICWA), both of which aim to protect the best interests of Indian children and promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.The Nebraska Supreme Court held that the juvenile court's order transferring the cases was conditional and not final, hence not appealable. The court found that the order was dependent on the tribal court's subsequent acceptance or declination of the transfer. If the tribal court declined the transfer, the cases would remain under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The court also noted that under NICWA, the transfer of a case from the juvenile court to a tribal court is subject to the tribal court's declination. Therefore, the court affirmed the Nebraska Court of Appeals' dismissal of the State's appeals due to the lack of a final, appealable order. View "In re Interest of Ricardo T." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Sayrah P.
The Supreme Court dismissed sixteen-year-old Sayrah P.'s appeal from an order for electronic monitoring and an order for staff secure detention, holding that this appeal lacked a final, appealable order.A juvenile probation officer found that Sayrah qualified for an alternative to detention and sent her home with an order for electronic monitoring. Two days after the initial screening the juvenile court held a hearing and ordered that Sayrah's electronic monitoring continue. Because Sayrah was noncompliant with her electronic monitoring she was ordered a month later to "staff secure" detention. Sayrah appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of a final, appealable order, holding that the orders appealed from did not affect a substantial right, and therefore, the orders were not appealable. View "In re Interest of Sayrah P." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Elijahking F.
The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court's adjudication of Appellant for obstruction of a peace officer, holding that serving a protection order falls within the preservation of the peace element of the misdemeanor offense and that the State proved the remaining elements.On appeal, Appellant argued that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime of obstructing a peace officer. The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed the juvenile court's order adjudicating Appellant to be a child within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(1), holding that the State adduced sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. View "In re Interest of Elijahking F." on Justia Law
In re Gunner B.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court denying Gunner B.'s motion for a new trial after the juvenile court entered an order finding that Gunner was a child within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(1), holding that Gunner's assignments of error were without merit.The State filed a petition alleging that Gunner was a child within the meaning of section 43-247(1) and had committed sexual assault in the third degree, as that crime is set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-320(1) and (3). The juvenile court found that Gunner was a child within the meaning of section 43-247(1) and set the case for disposition. After the juvenile court denied Gunner's ensuing motion for a new trial Gunner appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's assignments of error were without merit and that the evidence was sufficient to prove Gunner's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. View "In re Gunner B." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Victor L.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court finding that Victor L. was not competent to be adjudicated and dismissing the State's petition alleging that Victor had been habitually truant from school and fell within the meaning of section 43-247(3)(b), holding that the juvenile court did not err.After a competency review, the court found that Victor was not competent and dismissed the truancy proceeding on that basis. The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court's preadjudication dismissal of the truancy petition based on Victor's lack of competency to participate in the proceedings, holding (1) the plain language of Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-258 recognizes, as a matter of public policy, the juveniles accused of delinquency and status offenses have a statutory right to be competent to participate in adjudication proceedings; and (2) the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the petition. View "In re Interest of Victor L." on Justia Law
In re Interest of A.A.
The Supreme Court denied the motion for attorney fees and expenses against the State by the intervenor in a juvenile proceeding who successfully appealed a final order during the pendency of the case, holding that the State's limited waiver of sovereign immunity set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1804(1) did not apply to the fees and expenses sought.On appeal, the parties disputed whether the juvenile proceedings were a civil action and whether they were brought by the State and whether the State was substantially justified in its position. The Supreme Court held (1) the State's position in bringing and maintaining the underlying petition for adjudication was substantially justified; and (2) accordingly, no statute provided for the recovery of the intervenor's attorney fees and expenses incurred in this appeal. View "In re Interest of A.A." on Justia Law
In re Prince R.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the juvenile court adjudicating Prince R. as a child who lacked proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of his parents, holding that the juvenile court did not err.In its adjudication petition, the State asserted that Prince's parents had failed to ensure that Prince received necessary medical care after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After a hearing, the juvenile court found that Prince lacked proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of the parents and that the parents' actions placed Prince at a definite risk of harm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the juvenile court did not err by adjudicating Prince as a child that lacked proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of his parents. View "In re Prince R." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Seth C.
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of restitution entered by the separate juvenile court after Juvenile admitted to an amended allegation of disturbing the peace and quiet of another person, holding that the juvenile court had the authority to order restitution for medical expenses so long as such order was in the interest of the juvenile's reformation or rehabilitation.As a term of probation, the juvenile court ordered Juvenile to pay $500 in restitution for the victim's medical expenses. Juvenile court argued on appeal that the Nebraska Juvenile Code does not authorize a juvenile court to order restitution for medical expenses incurred by a victim. The Supreme Court affirmed the order of restitution for medical expenses, holding (1) Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-286(1)(a) authorized the juvenile court to order Juvenile to pay restitution for medical expenses; and (2) there was sufficient evidence to support a finding that Juvenile caused the victim's injuries and to support the amount of restitution ordered, and the order of restitution was in the interest of Juvenile's reformation and rehabilitation. View "In re Interest of Seth C." on Justia Law
State v. A.D.
The Supreme Court dismissed these consolidated appeals in which Appellants argued that the county court erred by concluding it lacked jurisdiction to decide motions to transfer their felony criminal cases to juvenile court, holding that the county court lacked jurisdiction, and therefore, the Supreme Court also lacked jurisdiction.The State filed complaints in county court charging Appellants with felonies. Appellants filed motions asking the county court to transfer their respective cases to juvenile court. In both cases, the county court issued orders stating that it did not have jurisdiction to rule on a motion to transfer to juvenile court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the county court correctly found that it lacked jurisdiction over Appellants' motions to transfer to juvenile court; and (2) because the county court lacked jurisdiction over the motions to transfer, this Court lacked jurisdiction over these appeals. View "State v. A.D." on Justia Law
In re Interest of Giavonni P.
The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the juvenile court placing Giavonni P. At the Lincoln Regional Center (LRC), holding that the juvenile court had the authority to place Giavonni at the LRC on a specific date or otherwise.The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services appealed, arguing that the placement orders usurped the LRC's statutory authority to administer and manage its patient admission and discharge process. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the order in this case was final; (2) this Court reaches the merits of these appeals under the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine; (3) the juvenile court had the authority to order this placement; and (4) while an adult facility was not the optimal choice for a juvenile offender, Giavonni's placement at the LRC was in his best interests at the time of his placement. View "In re Interest of Giavonni P." on Justia Law