STATE OF NEBRASKA ON BEHALF OF JA'QUEZZ G., A MINOR CHILD, APPELLANT,
TEABLO P., DEFENDANT AND THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF, APPELLEE, AND SASHA G., THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT, APPELLEE
from the District Court for Douglas County: KIMBERLY MILLER
E. Preisinger, of Child Support Services, for appellant.
G. Heaney and Katherine H. Owen, of Legal Aid of Nebraska,
for appellee Teablo P.
C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, MILLER-LERMAN, CASSEL, STACY, and
Neb. 338] Wright, J.
case presents the question of what method of service of
process upon the putative father is required in a paternity
proceeding brought under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-1411
(Reissue 2008). The district court determined that personal
service of process was required in an action for paternity,
and because Teablo P. had not been personally served, it
granted Teablo's motion for summary judgment and vacated
the default judgment of paternity and support. The State
G. is a minor child born out of wedlock and residing in the
State of Nebraska. It is not disputed that Teablo is not
Ja'Quezz' biological father, and there are no other
material facts in dispute.
September 28, 2008, Ja'Quezz' mother, Sasha G.,
completed a paternity questionnaire for the Nebraska
Department of Health and Human Services. She affirmatively
represented that she had not had sexual intercourse with any
man other than Teablo either 2 months before or after the
probable date of Ja'Quezz' conception. Based on that
representation, the State of Nebraska sued Teablo on behalf
of Ja'Quezz to establish paternity and an award for child
support. The complaint was filed on December 12, 2008.
State attempted twice to have Teablo personally served with
notice of the paternity proceeding at two different street
addresses in Omaha, Nebraska, and on two separate dates:
December 12, 2008, and January 29, 2009. Both attempts were
unsuccessful. The service returns indicated that Teablo did
not reside at either location.
been unsuccessful in its attempts to personally serve Teablo,
the State elected to serve Teablo with notice of the
paternity proceeding by certified mail. It did not request
the court's permission to change the manner of service
upon [293 Neb. 339] Teablo. On April 13, 2009, notice was
mailed to a third address in Omaha. This was the address that
Teablo had provided to his probation officer. At this
address, Teablo's grandmother signed a return receipt
indicating that she accepted delivery of the summons and
complaint. In a subsequent proceeding to set aside the
paternity and order for child support, Teablo filed a sworn
statement stating that he was homeless and did not have an
address of his own when the original complaint for paternity
about May 20, 2009, notice of a default hearing to be held on
May 27 was sent to Teablo at the same address provided to his
probation officer. The hearing was held, but Teablo did not
appear. On May 29, the court entered a default order finding
Teablo to be Ja'Quezz' father and requiring him to
pay $91 per month in child support.
January 7, 2010, Teablo, acting pro se, moved to vacate the
" Order of Support." The motion did not contain a
certificate of service and was never set for hearing. The
motion identified Teablo's current address in Omaha. At
an October 2012 contempt proceeding, Teablo requested genetic
testing. The testing conclusively determined that Teablo was
not Ja'Quezz' father. On January 3, 2014, with the
aid of counsel, Teablo filed a complaint to set aside the
order of paternity and the award of child support. Teablo
moved to vacate the order for lack of service. Teablo
subsequently filed an amended ...