Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation presents
a question of law, which an appellate court reviews
independently of the lower court's determination.
Paternity: Limitations of Actions. A civil proceeding to
establish the paternity of a child may be instituted by (1)
the mother or alleged father of such child, either during
pregnancy or within 4 years after the child's birth, or
(2) the guardian or next friend of such child or the State,
either during pregnancy or within 18 years after the
Paternity: Guardians and Conservators: Words and Phrases. In
the context of a paternity action, a next friend is one who,
in the absence of a guardian, acts for the benefit of an
infant or minor child.
Actions: Parent and Child: Guardians and Conservators.
Actions brought by the next friend of the child are causes of
action that seek to establish the child's rights rather
than those of the parent.
Guardians and Conservators. It is generally recognized that a
next friend must have a significant relationship with the
real party in interest, such that the next friend is an
appropriate alter ego for the party who is not able to
litigate in his or her own right.
Paternity: Guardians and Conservators. When a child is
residing with its natural guardian, there is no legal basis,
reason, or cause for a next friend to institute a paternity
action on the child's behalf.
Actions: Pleadings: Parties. The character in which one is a
party to a suit, and the capacity in which a party sues, is
determined from the allegations of the pleadings and not from
the caption alone.
Neb.App. 371] 8. Courts: Actions: Parties: Complaints:
Pleadings: Records. If the capacity in which a party sues is
doubtful, a court may examine the complaint, the pleadings as
a whole, and even the entire record.
Appeal and Error. An appellate court is not obligated to
engage in an analysis that is not necessary to adjudicate the
case and controversy before it.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: Steven D.
Burns, Judge. Reversed and remanded with directions.
Finegan McChesney, of McChesney & Farrell Law. and Joshua
M. Livingston, Senior Certified Law Student, for appellant.
Bacon and Tara L. Gardner, of Keating, O'Gara, Nedved
& Peter, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee Geoffrey V.
Inbody, Riedmann, and Bishop, Judges.