Valerie A. Mansuetta, appellant,
Nicholas T. Mansuetta, appellee.
Declaratory Judgments. Whether to entertain
an action for declaratory judgment is within the discretion
of the trial court.
Judges: Words and Phrases. A judicial abuse
of discretion exists when a judge, within the effective
limits of authorized judicial power, elects to act or refrain
from acting, but the selected option results in a decision
which is untenable and unfairly deprives a litigant of a
substantial right or a just result in matters submitted for
disposition through a judicial system.
Declaratory Judgments. The general rule is
that an action for a declaratory judgment will not be
entertained when another equally serviceable remedy has been
Declaratory Judgments: Jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction of a declaratory judgment action will not be
entertained if there is pending, at the time of the
commencement of the declaratory action, another action or
proceeding to which the same persons are parties, and in
which are involved, and may be adjudicated, the same
identical issues that are involved in the declaratory action.
from the District Court for Buffalo County: William T.
vacated, and cause remanded with directions.
A. Schroeder, of Ross, Schroeder & George, L.L.C., for
Heather Swanson-Murray, of Swanson Murray Law, L.L.C., PC,
Neb. 668] Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel,
Stacy. Kelch, and Funke, JJ.
T. Mansuetta, the appellee, filed a complaint for dissolution
of marriage in the district court for Buffalo County, case
No. CI14-172. During the pendency of the dissolution case,
Valerie A. Mansuetta, the appellant, filed a separate
complaint for declaratory judgment in the same court, seeking
an order regarding the parties' rights under their
prenuptial agreement. This separate action gives rise to this
appeal. Valerie appeals from the order in the declaratory
judgment action, in which the district court found the
agreement to be wholly valid and enforceable. We determine
that the district court abused its discretion by entertaining
Valerie's declaratory judgment action when another action
was pending involving the same parties and the same issues.
Therefore, we vacate the order of the district court and
remand the cause with directions to enter an order dismissing
Valerie's complaint for declaratory judgment.
and Valerie were married on February 14, 2008. On February
13, the day before they were married, Nicholas and Valerie
executed a prenuptial agreement. The parties dispute the
events leading up to the execution of the prenuptial
agreement. Generally, Valerie asserts that she did not see a
copy of the agreement until it was placed in front of her on
February 13 and that she and Nicholas never discussed a
prenuptial agreement prior to its execution. In contrast,
Nicholas generally contends that he and Valerie had many
discussions regarding executing a prenuptial agreement, that
Valerie had received a draft of the agreement several days