Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The stop of Defendant’s vehicle for the purpose of gathering information about the presence of stolen firearms and other criminal activity at the residence Defendant drove from, for which a search warrant was being sought, did not violate Defendant’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article 1, section 7 of the Nebraska Constitution. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court convicting Defendant of felony possession of a controlled substance, holding (1) the application of the balancing test set forth in Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979), which recognizes that warrantless seizures without reasonable suspicion may be reasonable under certain circumstances, was appropriate under the facts of this case; and (2) the stop was reasonable under Brown. View "State v. Sievers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from an order dismissing his amended complaint alleging that the conditions at the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP) violate his rights under Nebraska law and that his claims are representative of all inmates housed in the segregation units at the NSP, holding that this matter was moot. Appellant sued the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (DCS), its director, and other officials and employees of the DCS, asserting that prison officials violate his rights when they place another prisoner in his “medically designed one-man segregation single-cell,” which disturbs his circadian rhythm. The district court dismissed the amended complaint for failing to state a cause of action. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal, holding that because Appellant no longer resided at the NSP, this matter was moot. View "Nesbitt v. Frakes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for first degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, thus rejecting Defendant’s assignments of error. Specifically, the Court held that the district court did not err in (1) admitting the video of Defendant’s interview with law enforcement officials because, where there was no police coercion and Defendant did not unequivocally invoke the right to remain silent, Defendant’s confession was voluntary; (2) not redacting various statements made in an interview pursuant to Neb. R. Evid. 401 to 403; and (3) overruling Defendant’s motion for mistrial based on statements made by the prosecution in closing arguments because, while the prosecuting attorney made several inappropriate statements, Defendant’s right to a fair trial was not prejudiced. View "State v. Hernandez" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals remanding this cause with directions to vacate Defendant’s conviction for possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person and to dismiss the charge against him, holding that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress. The court of appeals concluded that there was not probable cause to arrest Defendant and that the inventory search of his vehicle must be suppressed. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the court of appeals erred in vacating Defendant’s conviction because there was probable cause to support Defendant’s arrest, and therefore, the inventory search of his vehicle was authorized and the weapon found in that search was admissible. View "State v. Botts" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief following an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was convicted of second degree murder under a theory of aiding and abetting, among other crimes. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences on direct appeal. Appellant then filed a timely motion for postconviction relief alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective in several respects. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err in failing to find that Appellant’s trial counsel and appellate counsel were ineffective; (2) the trial court did not err in failing to make rulings on certain claims raised in Appellant’s postconviction motion; and (3) Appellant’s argument that postconviction counsel provided effective assistance at the evidentiary hearing was without merit. View "State v. McGuire" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court affirming a school board’s cancellation of the contract of a certificated employee after holding a formal hearing, thus rejecting the employee’s arguments regarding notice and due process in addition to his challenges to the merits of the cancellation. Specifically, the Court held (1) the school board’s notice regarding a hearing on whether to cancel the employee’s employment contract was proper; (2) the school board’s use of an attorney to preside over the employee’s hearing was not improper; (3) the school board was impartial; (4) the admission of evidence related to the employee’s conduct outside the contract period was admissible; and (5) there was sufficient evidence to support the cancellation of the employee’s contract. View "Robinson v. Morrill County School District #63" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s jury convictions and sentences for first degree murder, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, and possession of a controlled substance. The Court held that the trial court did not err in (1) denying Defendant’s motion to sever count IV from the amended information, (2) finding that Defendant’s conviction of first degree murder was supported by competent evidence; and (3) denying Defendant’s motion for new trial based on prosecutorial misconduct. Further, trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance. View "State v. Cotton" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of first degree murder, manslaughter, two counts of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, holding that Defendant’s allegations of error were without merit. On appeal, Defendant argued that evidence obtained pursuant to an alleged invalid warrant should have been excluded at his jury trial and that his counsel provided ineffective assistance. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) Defendant’s first assignment of error was without merit; and (2) there was no merit to any of Defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claims. View "State v. Nolt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of first degree murder, manslaughter, two counts of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, holding that Defendant’s allegations of error were without merit. On appeal, Defendant argued that evidence obtained pursuant to an alleged invalid warrant should have been excluded at his jury trial and that his counsel provided ineffective assistance. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) Defendant’s first assignment of error was without merit; and (2) there was no merit to any of Defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claims. View "State v. Nolt" on Justia Law

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An interlocutory appeal is not authorized under Nebraska’s “three strikes” prison litigation statute, Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-3401, which prohibits a prisoner who has previously filed at least three frivolous civil actions from proceeding in forma pauperis (IFP) without leave of court. In this action alleging civil rights violations relating to Appellant’s treatment by prison officials and the conditions of his confinement, the district court initially sustained Appellant’s motion to proceed IFP. Upon Appellees’ motion to reconsider, the district court vacated the prior order allowing Appellant to proceed IFP pursuant to the “three strikes” provision because Appellant had previously filed three district court cases in which he had been denied IFP status. Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction Appellant’s interlocutory appeal, holding that neither section 25-3401 nor the general IFP statute statute provides a right to interlocutory appeal of a “three strikes” denial. View "Robinson v. Houston" on Justia Law