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Stevens v. Stevens

Supreme Court of Nebraska

February 19, 2016

KIMBERLY L. STEVENS, NOW KNOWN AS KIMBERLY L. MOORE, APPELLANT,
v.
MICHAEL W. STEVENS, APPELLEE, AND STATE OF NEBRASKA, INTERVENOR-APPELLEE

Appeal from the District Court for Sarpy County: DAVID K. ARTERBURN, Judge.

Phillip G. Wright for appellant.

Kevin F. Duffy and Marc B. Delman, Deputy Sarpy County Attorneys, and Andrew T. Erickson, Senior Certified Law Student, for intervenor-appellee.

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

OPINION

Page 454

CONNOLLY, J.

[292 Neb. 828] SUMMARY

After Michael W. Stevens became disabled, the child support referee recommended that the court reduce his child support payments. The court adopted the recommendations " subject to the right of rehearing reserved in the parties if exception(s) be duly taken within fourteen (14) days," in which case " this Order shall be stayed until further Order of the Court." Kimberly L. Stevens, now known as Kimberly L. Moore, the custodial parent, appeals. The order from which Kimberly appeals was conditional and therefore not final. We dismiss her appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND

In 2003, the court dissolved Kimberly and Michael's marriage. It awarded Kimberly custody of the minor children and ordered Michael to pay child support.

In 2014, the State, as intervenor, filed a complaint to modify the child support order in the decree. It alleged that Michael's monthly income had materially decreased.

The court referred the matter to a referee, who held a hearing. On February 17, 2015, the referee filed a report recommending that the court decrease Michael's support obligation. On the same day, the court entered an order purporting to approve the recommendations contingent on neither party's filing exceptions during the next 2 weeks. The February 17 order provides:

It is ordered that the referee recommendations are adopted by the Court as its Order, subject to the right of rehearing reserved in the parties if exception(s) be duly taken within fourteen (14) days from this date (Neb. Ct. R. ยง 4-110). In the event that an exception is ...

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