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Lasu v. Issak

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 28, 2015

MIRAB LASU, APPELLEE,
v.
HUSSEIN ISSAK, APPELLANT

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Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: THOMASA. OTEPKA, Judge.

Reversed and remanded with directions.

Patrick McCormick for appellant.

Brandie M. Fowler and Kyle C. Allen, of Higgins Law, for appellee.

INBODY, PIRTLE, and BISHOP, Judges.

OPINION

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[23 Neb.App. 86] Bishop, Judge.

Hussein Issak appeals from a decree of paternity entered by the Douglas County District Court, which established his paternity of two minor children he had with Mirab Lasu and ordered him to pay child support in the amount of $613 per month. On appeal, Issak argues that the district court did not properly consider the federal poverty guidelines when establishing his support obligation; namely, he argues the district court failed to take into consideration that he is the head of a 10-person household where the combined income is below the federal poverty guidelines.

This case requires us to address language contained at Neb. Ct. R. § 4-218 (rev. 2014) which has evaded consideration by our appellate courts to date. In 2014 (the year applicable to this appeal), § 4-218 set forth a basic subsistence limitation based upon a " minimum of $973 net monthly for one person, or the poverty guidelines updated annually in the Federal Register." (Emphasis supplied.) We conclude that the italicized language requires looking at the poverty guideline table found in the Federal Register when an obligor's household consists of more than one person. Since § 4-218 was not properly considered by the district court in determining child support in this case, we reverse, and remand with directions.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Issak was married in Kenya before he and his wife moved to the United States. Issak and his wife have a total of eight children together, three born in Kenya (in 1999, 2000, and 2002) and five born in Douglas County, Nebraska (in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013). At all times during the district [23 Neb.App. 87] court proceedings below, Issak and his wife remained married and lived together.

While still married to his wife, Issak also had two children with Lasu: Samuel Lasu, born in 2010, and Daniel Lasu, born in 2012. Lasu also has six children from a previous marriage; two reside with her.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On April 10, 2012, Lasu filed a complaint for paternity, custody, and support against

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Issak, alleging that he was the biological father of her minor child, Samuel. According to a motion filed by Lasu on July 3, the parties had entered into an agreement resolving all issues in her complaint, and on July 16, the district court entered a decree of paternity and ...


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