Michael P. Burns, Appellee,
Kerry E. Burns, Appellant.
Motions to Vacate: Time: Appeal and Error. The decision to
vacate an order any time during the term in which the
judgment is rendered is within the discretion of the court;
such a decision will be reversed only if it is shown that the
district court abused its discretion.
Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of discretion occurs
when the trial court's decision is based upon reasons
that are untenable or unreasonable or if its action is
clearly against justice or conscience, reason, and evidence.
Courts: Motions to Vacate. Although a court's decision to
vacate an order is discretionary, this discretion is not an
arbitrary one. It must be exercised reasonably and depends
upon the facts and circumstances in each case as shown by the
Jurisdiction: Venue: Words and Phrases. Jurisdiction is the
inherent power or authority to decide a case; venue is the
place of trial of an action-the site where the power to
adjudicate is to be exercised.
Statutes: Presumptions: Legislature: Intent. In interpreting
a statute, a court is guided by the presumption that the
Legislature intended a sensible rather than absurd result in
enacting the statute.
Trial: Venue: Parties: Stipulations. Absent statutory
authority to the contrary or a written stipulation or oral
stipulation on the record by all parties, trials and
evidentiary hearings must be conducted in the county in which
they are pending.
from the District Court for Adams County: James e. doyle iv,
Judge. Reversed and remanded with directions.
Catlett, of Law Office of Matt Catlett, for appellant.
Neb. 185] Robert M. Sullivan, of Sullivan Shoemaker, P.C.,
L.L.O., for appellee.
Wright, miller-lermaN, Cassel, staCy, kelCh, and FuNke, JJ.
case requires this court to determine whether Neb. Rev. Stat.
§ 24-303 (Reissue 2016) authorizes a district court
sitting in one county to order a party in a contempt
proceeding to appear in another county to show cause for why
she should not be held in contempt. We conclude it does not
and therefore reverse the court's order and remand the
initial matter, we note that the district court judge
handling this case is the Honorable James E. Doyle IV.
Although Judge Doyle is a district court judge for the 11th
Judicial District, this court appointed him to serve as the
district court judge for the 10th Judicial District for the
limited purpose of handling Burns v. Burns, case No.
CI03-248. This was done because one of the parties, Michael
P. Burns, served as a county court judge for the 10th
Judicial District, thus creating a conflict of interest.
and Kerry E. Burns divorced in 2004. Since the divorce decree
was issued, there have been several modifications and
appeals. This particular appeal involves a contempt
proceeding between the parties, which was pending before the
district court for Adams County.
January 6, 2016, Judge Doyle, acting as the district court
judge for Adams County, issued an order requiring Kerry to
appear in the Dawson County District Court in Lexington,
Nebraska, on February 12 and show cause why she should not be
held in contempt for refusing to comply with prior orders. On
January 19, an affidavit of service of process was filed in
[296 Neb. 186] the district court for Adams County,
reflecting that Kerry had been personally served in Wichita,
Kansas. Ultimately, Kerry did not appear for the show cause
hearing, but an evidentiary hearing was nevertheless held in
February 24, 2016, the district court entered an order
finding Kerry in contempt and sanctioning her therefore to 10
days in jail. The order also contained a purge plan.
March 3, 2016, Kerry moved the district court to vacate its
February 24 order on the basis that the court did not have
authority to hold an evidentiary ...