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State v. Merheb

Supreme Court of Nebraska

February 6, 2015

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
RAMEZ MERHEB, APPELLANT

Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: JOHN A. COLBORN, Judge.

Robert B. Creager, of Anderson, Creager & Wittstruck, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Jon Bruning, Attorney General, and Nathan A. Liss for appellee.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, McCORMACK, and MILLER-LERMAN, JJ. CASSEL, J., not participating.

OPINION

Page 227

[290 Neb. 84] Heavican, C.J.

INTRODUCTION

Ramez Merheb filed a verified motion to set aside his plea. The district court denied the motion. Merheb appeals. We affirm.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On October 6, 2008, Merheb pled guilty to attempted possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. On December 2, he was sentenced to 1 to 2 years' imprisonment. No direct appeal was filed.

On May 22, 2009, Merheb filed a motion for postconviction relief. In the motion, Merheb alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his immigration counsel provided erroneous advice regarding the consequences of his conviction. Merheb further alleged that he would not have pled guilty and would have pursed an appeal on the denial of a motion to suppress in his case had his counsel acted effectively.

The district court denied Merheb's motion on June 26, 2009. Merheb appealed to the Nebraska Court of Appeals on July 7. On December 17, the State filed a suggestion of mootness, because Merheb had been released from prison on May 23 and his parole had expired on November 17. The State argued that because he was no longer under a term of imprisonment or parole, Merheb had no right to postconviction relief. The Court of Appeals dismissed Merheb's appeal as moot on January 20, 2010. We denied Merheb's petition

Page 228

for [290 Neb. 85] further review on March 10, and the mandate was spread by the ...


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