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In re Interest of Samantha L.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

November 1, 2013

In re Interest of Samantha L. and Jasmine L., children under 18 years of age.
v.
Kelly L., appellee and cross-appellant, State of Nebraska, appellee and cross-appellee, and William H., appellant.

Page 266

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 267

Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County: VERNON DANIELS, Judge.

Matthew P. Saathoff, of Saathoff Law Group, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Molly Adair-Pearson, of Adair-Pearson Law, for appellee Kelly L.

Donald W. Kleine, Douglas County Attorney, and Shakil A. Malik for appellee State of Nebraska.

Heavican, C.J., Wright, Connolly, Stephan, McCormack, Miller -Lerman, and Cassel, JJ.

Syllabus

1. Rules of the Supreme Court: Appeal and Error. Headings in the argument section of a brief do not satisfy the requirements of Neb. Ct. R.App. P. § 2-109(D)(1) (rev.2012). Under that rule, a party is required to set forth the [286 Neb. 779] assignments of error in a separate section of the brief, with an appropriate heading, following the statement of the case and preceding the propositions of law, and to include in the assignments of error section a separate and concise statement of each error the party contends was made by the trial court.

2. Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews juvenile cases de novo on the record and reaches its conclusions independently of the juvenile court's findings.

3. Rules of the Supreme Court: Appeal and Error. Where a brief of a party fails to comply with the mandate of Neb. Ct. R.App. P. § 2-109(D)(1)(e) (rev.2012), an appellate court may proceed as though the party failed to file a brief or, alternatively, may examine the proceedings for plain error.

4. Appeal and Error. Plain error is error plainly evident from the record and of such a nature that to leave it uncorrected would result in damage to the integrity, reputation, or fairness of the judicial process.

5. Juvenile Courts: Adoption: Child Custody. A juvenile court, except where an adjudicated child has been legally adopted, may always order a change in the juvenile's custody or care when the change is in the best interests of the juvenile.

6. Trial: Waiver: Appeal and Error. A litigant's failure to make a timely objection waives the right to assert prejudicial error on appeal.

7. Trial: Appeal and Error. One cannot silently tolerate error, gamble on a favorable result, and then complain that one guessed wrong.

Cassel, J.

INTRODUCTION

The biological parents of two children in the care and custody of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) each filed a notice of appeal from an order of the separate juvenile court of Douglas County. The order found [286 Neb. 780] that DHHS was no longer required to supply reasonable efforts in support of reunification and that the primary permanency objectives for the children should be changed from reunification. Both parents failed to include in their respective briefs on appeal a separate ...


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