State of Florida, ex rel. Department of Insurance of the State of Florida, receiver for United Southern Assurance Company, a Florida corporation authorized to transfer an insurance business in Florida, appellee,
Countrywide Truck Insurance Agency, Inc., a Florida corporation, et al., appellees, and William E. Gast, appellant.
Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. An appellate court determines
jurisdictional questions that do not involve a factual
dispute as a matter of law.
Attorney and Client. Persons not licensed to practice law in
Nebraska are prohibited from prosecuting an action or filing
papers in the courts of this state on behalf of another.
Standing: Claims: Parties. To have standing, a litigant must
assert the litigant's own rights and interests.
Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. For an
appellate court to acquire jurisdiction of an appeal, there
must be a judgment, decree, or final order entered by the
court from which the appeal is timely taken.
Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. Where the court from which an
appeal was taken lacked jurisdiction, the appellate court
acquires no jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction: Recusal. Where an attorney pursues a motion for
recusal that is frivolous or made in bad faith, the district
court has jurisdiction to enter a sanction under Neb. Rev.
Stat. § 25-824 (Reissue 2008) when it is timely
requested, regardless of whether the district court lacked
jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of the underlying
Appeal and Error. To be considered by an appellate court, an
error must be both specifically assigned and specifically
argued in the brief of the party asserting the error.
Neb. 401] Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County:
Peter C. Bataillon, Judge.
William E. Gast, pro se.
F. Craig and Anna M. Bednar, of Robert F. Craig. P.C., for
appellee State of Florida.
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, and
E. Gast appeals from a district court order sanctioning him
for filing a frivolous motion to recuse the trial judge. Gast
challenges the district court's jurisdiction to enter the
order. We conclude that the district court had jurisdiction
to sanction Gast for a frivolous motion, regardless of
whether it had jurisdiction over the underlying case. We
therefore affirm the district court's order.
case has a long and complicated procedural history, most of
which is irrelevant in this appeal. Briefly summarized, this
action began in 1998, when the State of Florida filed a
complaint on the relation of the Department of Insurance of
the State of Florida, which was appointed as receiver of
United Southern Assurance Company, an insolvent insurance
company. Florida named Countrywide Truck Insurance Agency,
Inc. (Truck), Countrywide Insurance Agency, Inc. (Agency),
and David L. Fulkerson as defendants. It alleged that Truck
owed money to United Southern Assurance Company and that
Fulkerson used Truck and Agency to convert that money to his
Neb. 402] In the course of the litigation, this case reached
this court at least three times-in 1999,  2005,
2008. In 2008, we reversed an order directing a
verdict in favor of Florida. The state of the record makes it
difficult to discern what happened next. Gast did not file a
praecipe for a ...