Margaret V. Schlichtman, Special Administrator of the Estate of Melody Hopper, deceased, appellee,
Steven M. Jacob, appellant.
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION
Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: Paul D. Merritt, Jr., Judge.
Steven M. Jacob, pro se.
Thomas E. Zimmerman, of Jeffrey, Hahn, Hemmerling & Zimmerman, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.
Sievers, Pirtle, and Riedmann, Judges.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL
Margaret V. Schlichtman, special administrator of the estate of Melody Hopper, deceased, filed a partial satisfaction of judgment in regard to a judgment entered in her favor and against Steven M. Jacob. Schlichtman was asking the court to equitably set off a judgment Jacob obtained in a replevin action against the judgment in her favor in this case. Jacob filed a motion to vacate or set aside partial satisfaction of judgment. He argued that the funds Schlichtman was trying to apply in satisfaction of the judgment, specifically the cash value of a life insurance policy and prejudgment interest and postjudgment interest awarded to Jacob in a replevin action, were exempt from attachment under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 44-371(1) (Reissue 2010). The district court for Lancaster County found that the cash value of the life insurance policy was exempt, but that the interest was not and could be set off in partial satisfaction of Schlichtman's judgment against Jacob.
Jacob appeals. Because we find no merit to his assignments of error, we affirm.
Jacob is currently serving a life sentence following his conviction of first degree murder in the death of Hopper. See State v. Jacob, 253 Neb. 950, 574 N.W.2d 117 (1998). Hopper's mother, Schlichtman, formerly Margaret V. Shuck, filed a wrongful death action against Jacob, and a jury returned a verdict in favor of Schlichtman for $734, 704 in April 1992. Schlichtman had obtained an order for attachment of Jacob's property, which included an insurance policy on Jacob's life, shortly after Hopper was killed. Subsequent to the entry of the jury verdict in favor of Schlichtman, Jacob's property was sold at a public auction in June 1992 as a result of the attachment order. Schlichtman purchased Jacob's life insurance policy for $6, 000 and later cashed it in for $2, 805.08.
Subsequent to the June 1992 public auction, the wrongful death judgment in favor of Schlichtman was reversed on appeal for the reason that Jacob's criminal conviction which formed the basis for liability was not yet final. See Shuck v. Jacob, 250 Neb. 126, 548 N.W.2d 332 (1996). Jacob moved the district court to vacate the sale of his insurance policy and the court did so, finding that the proceeds obtained by Schlichtman from Jacob's life insurance policy were exempt from attachment pursuant to § 44-371(1). Jacob's criminal conviction was subsequently reversed, and the cause was remanded for a new trial. See State v. Jacob, 242 Neb. 176, 494 N.W.2d 109 (1993).
In December 1996, Jacob filed a replevin action against Schlichtman, alleging that his life insurance policy was unlawfully taken and seeking the return of his property and damages. In June 2004, the trial court entered partial summary judgment as to liability in favor of Jacob, ruling that the attachment was wrongful. In October 2006, the matter went to trial on damages and the jury found in favor of Jacob, awarding him $8, 805.08 for his life insurance policy.
Jacob filed a motion to alter or amend in the replevin action, requesting prejudgment interest on his award. Schlichtman filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, claiming the evidence was insufficient to support the jury's verdict of $8, 805.08. In January 2007, the trial court granted Schlichtman's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict in the replevin case, finding that the evidence supported only a damage award of $2, 805.08, which represented the cash value of the policy when it was surrendered in 1992. The trial court also awarded Jacob prejudgment interest of 12 percent on the $2, 805.08 beginning June 9, 1992, the date the ...