Appeal from the District Court for Box Butte County, Robert R. Moran, Judge, on appeal thereto from the County Court for Box Butte County, Glen A. Fiebig, Judge.
Hastings, C.j., Boslaugh, White, Caporale, Shanahan, Grant, and Fahrnbruch, JJ.
1. Courts: Jurisdiction. County courts can acquire jurisdiction only through legislative enactment.
2. Decedents' Estates: Actions: Equity: Courts: Jurisdiction. In common-law and equity actions relating to decedents' estates, the county courts have concurrent original jurisdiction with the district courts.
3. Actions: Equity: Courts: Jurisdiction. Save for the county court probate powers and the county courts' limited jurisdiction in granting temporary restraining orders, jurisdiction in equity actions remains in the district courts.
4. Actions: Injunction: Courts: Jurisdiction. Insofar as injunction actions are concerned, the statutes place jurisdiction in the district court. The only jurisdiction in regard to injunctions conferred on a county Judge is to issue a temporary restraining order when there is no district Judge in the county.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Fahrnbruch
William J. Iodence appeals an order of the district court for Box Butte County affirming the issuance of an injunction by the Box Butte County Court which prohibits Iodence from replanting a grove of trees mowed down by the appellee, John Potmesil.
Since the county court lacked jurisdiction to order injunctive relief in this type of case, we reverse the ruling of the district court and remand the cause with directions.
Iodence successfully brought suit in the county court against Potmesil and received a $4,520 judgment as a result of Potmesil's destruction of the appellant's trees. On appeal, the district court affirmed that award. Potmesil did not appeal that award, and it is not an issue in the appeal to this court.
Potmesil asked for and received from the county court an order enjoining Iodence from replacing the trees Potmesil had destroyed. Iodence appealed to the district court the granting of the injunction by the county court. The district court affirmed the issuance of the injunction, and Iodence timely appealed to this court.
Iodence's first two assignments of error challenge the county court's power to exercise equity jurisdiction in this case. In holding that the county courts may "exercise powers of a court of equity," the district court relied upon article V, § 1, of the Nebraska Constitution and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 24-517(4) (Reissue 1989). Iodence claims that this reliance was misplaced.
Article V, § 1, provides in part:
The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a Supreme Court, district courts, county courts, in and for each county, with one or more Judges for each county, or with one Judge for two or more counties, as the Legislature shall provide, and such ...