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In re Guardianship of Aimee S.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 26, 2016

In re Guardianship of Aimee S., an incapacitated AND PROTECTED PERSON.
v.
Susanne Dempsey-Cook, successor guardian, Appellee and Cross-Appellant, Deborah S., Appellant and Cross-Appellee, and Kelly Henry Turner, Guardian ad Litem, Appellee.

         1. Standing: Jurisdiction. Standing requires that a litigant have such a personal stake in the outcome of a controversy as to warrant invocation of a court's jurisdiction and justify exercise of the court's remedial powers on the litigant's behalf. The defect of standing is a defect of subject matter jurisdiction.

         2. Judgments: Jurisdiction. A jurisdictional question that does not involve a factual dispute presents a question of law.

         3. Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. Before reaching the legal issues presented for review, it is the duty of an appellate court to determine whether it has jurisdiction.

         4. Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. For an appellate court to acquire jurisdiction of an appeal, there must be a final order entered by the court from which the appeal is taken.

         5. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-1902 (Reissue 2008), the three types of final orders that an appellate court may review are (1) an order that affects a substantial right and that determines the action and prevents a judgment, (2) an order that affects a substantial right made during a special proceeding, and (3) an order that affects a substantial right made on summary application in an action after a judgment is rendered.

         6. ___: ___. Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-1902 (Reissue 2008), a final, appealable order must affect a substantial right.

         [24 Neb.App. 231] 7. Final Orders: Words and Phrases. A substantial right is an essential legal right, not merely a technical right.

         8. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. A substantial right is affected if an order affects the subject matter of the litigation, such as diminishing a claim or defense that was available to an appellant before the order from which an appeal is taken.

         9. Actions: Jurisdiction. Lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time by any party or by the court sua sponte.

         10. Guardians and Conservators: Parental Rights. A parent of an incapacitated adult does not have the same rights as a parent of an incapacitated minor.

         Appeal from the County Court for Douglas County: Susan Bazis, Judge.

          Brent M. Kuhn, of Brent Kuhn Law, for appellant.

          Barbara J. Prince for appellee Susanne Dempsey-Cook.

          John M. Walker, Sarah F. Macdissi, and Catherine E. French, of Lamson, Dugan & Murray, L.L.P., for ...


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