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In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Burke

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

September 15, 2015

In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Michael E. Burke, an incapacitated person.
v.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, interested party, appellee. James R. Walz, former guardian and conservator, appellant,

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION

Appeal from the County Court for Douglas County: Marcena M. Hendrix, Judge.

James R. Walz, of Walz Law Offices, P.C., L.L.O., pro se.

Daniel H. Bowers, pro hac vice, and Paul L. Pullum for appellee.

Irwin, Inbody, and Riedmann, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL (MEMORANDUM WEB OPINION)

Irwin, Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

James P. Walz, former guardian and conservator for Michael E. Burke, appeals an order of the county court for Douglas County, Nebraska, setting aside a previous award of fees and expenses on the motion of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the Department), an interested party. On appeal, Walz asserts that the previous award was a final order and that the Department's motion seeking reconsideration of the award was untimely. Walz also asserts that the court erred in setting aside the previous award. We find that the previous award was not a final and appealable order and we find that Walz has not presented a record on appeal to demonstrate that the order appealed from is final and appealable. We conclude that we are without jurisdiction because of the lack of a final and appealable order, and we dismiss the appeal.

II. BACKGROUND

We initially note that Walz did not request the preparation of any bill of exceptions in this case. As such, our review of the matter is limited to a review of the parties' briefs and the transcript presented by Walz.

At some point in time Walz was appointed as the guardian and conservator for Burke. The initial letters of appointment have not been presented to us, but a filing in the transcript suggests that the appointment was in September 2009.

On January 9, 2012, Walz filed a petition in which he asked the county court to terminate his appointment as guardian and conservator, to discharge him from his duties upon approval of a final accounting, and to appoint a successor. On February 17, Walz filed a motion seeking attorney fees related to the preparation of the petition for termination.

On February 27, 2012, the county court entered an order in which it found that there was a sufficient basis for termination of Walz as the guardian and conservator and appointing a successor guardian and conservator. In that order, the court specifically noted that Walz had not yet filed his "final accounting" and specifically noted that Walz was not discharged from his duties and that his bond was not exonerated until a final accounting was filed and approved.

On May 18, 2012, Walz filed an application for approval of "annual accounting" and fees. Walz requested approval of his "annual accounting" and requested guardian and conservator fees in the amount of $2, 015.44 and attorney fees in the amount of $702. Walz also submitted an affidavit in support of his request and ...


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