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State v. Meints

Supreme Court of Nebraska

September 25, 2015

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
DANIEL A. MEINTS, APPELLANT

Petition for further review from the Court of Appeals, INBODY, RIEDMANN, and BISHOP, Judges, on appeal thereto from the District Court for Lancaster County, ROBERT R. OTTE, Judge, on appeal thereto from the County Court for Lancaster County, THOMAS W. FOX, Judge.

Terry K. Barber, of Barber & Barber, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

John C. McQuinn, Chief Lincoln City Prosecutor, and Robert E. Caples for appellee.

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

OPINION

Page 344

[291 Neb. 870] Cassel, J.

INTRODUCTION

The Nebraska Court of Appeals summarily dismissed Daniel A. Meints' appeal

Page 345

for lack of jurisdiction, and we granted Meints' petition for further review. The Court of Appeals' jurisdiction depends upon the finality and effectiveness of a series of district court orders. Because the district court's first order was conditional and its second order was never entered, Meints timely filed his notice of appeal from the only final, appealable order entered by the district court. We reverse the decision and remand the cause to the Court of Appeals with direction.

BACKGROUND

The county court convicted Meints of three municipal ordinance violations and sentenced him to pay fines and court costs. Meints appealed his county court convictions to the district court.

We summarize the timeline of the pertinent district court proceeding as follows:o May 1, 2014: The district court purportedly dismissed the appeal because Meints failed to pay for the preparation of the transcript. The order stated that the " case is dismissed . . . as of this date subject to being reinstated if, within 14 days of the date of this order, [Meints] sets a motion for [291 Neb. 871] reinstatement of the case for hearing with the court and files a motion for reinstatement with notice to the plaintiff." o May 15, 2014: Meints filed a motion for an order reinstating his appeal and set the matter for hearing on May 30.o May 30, 2014: Meints' request was denied via a docket entry. The docket entry was neither signed by the judge nor file stamped by the court clerk.o June 10, 2014: Meints filed a motion asking the court to reconsider its May 30 order.o July 25, 2014: The district court overruled the motion for reconsideration.o August 25, 2014: Meints filed a notice of appeal from the district court.

The Court of Appeals summarily dismissed Meints' appeal under Neb. Ct. R. App. P. § 2-107(A)(2) (rev. 2012). Its minute entry quoted the following proposition from State v. Hausmann[1]: " A party can move the court to vacate or modify a final order--but if the court does not grant the motion, a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the earlier final order if the party intends to appeal it." Meints moved for ...


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