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In re Nedhal A.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

December 12, 2014

IN RE INTEREST OF NEDHAL A., A CHILD UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE. STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
NEDHAL A., APPELLANT

Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Lancaster County: TONI G. THORSON, Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.

SYLLABUS

1. 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.

2. Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation is a question of law, which an appellate court resolves independently of the trial court.

3. Statutes: Appeal and Error. When possible, an appellate court will try to avoid a statutory construction that would lead to an absurd result.

Dennis R. Keefe, Lancaster County Public Defender, and Matthew Meyerle for appellant.

Lory Pasold, Deputy Lancaster County Attorney, for appellee.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 566

Wright, J.

NATURE OF CASE

Nedhal A. (Appellant) was charged with criminal mischief and disturbing the peace while residing at Cedars Teaching, Learning, & Connecting group home (Cedars Home). While the charges were pending final disposition, Appellant went " on [the] run" several times at other placements. Although another group home accepted Appellant at its location in Omaha, Nebraska, the juvenile court ordered intensive supervised probation at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC) in Geneva, Nebraska, pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-286(1)(b)(ii) (Supp. 2013). The court found that all levels of probation supervision and options for community-based services had been exhausted and further determined that placing Appellant at YRTC was a matter of immediate and urgent necessity.

[289 Neb. 712] This case involves the interpretation of § 43-286(1)(b)(ii). We must decide in the context of this statute what constitutes the exhaustion of " all levels of probation supervision and options for community-based services" before a court may order a juvenile committed to a YRTC. See id. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse the judgment of the juvenile court and remand the cause for further proceedings.

SCOPE OF REVIEW

We review juvenile cases de novo on the record and reach our conclusions independently of the juvenile court's findings. In re Interest of Kodi L., 287 Neb. 35, 840 N.W.2d 538 (2013). Statutory interpretation is a question of law, which we resolve independently of the trial ...


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