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Anderson v. Finkle

Supreme Court of Nebraska

June 2, 2017

Janice M. Anderson, Personal Representative of the Estate of Steven B. Anderson, deceased, appellee,
v.
Steve Finkle, appellant.

         1. Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. When a jurisdictional question does not involve a factual dispute, its determination is a matter of law, which requires an appellate court to reach a conclusion independent of the decision made by the lower court.

         2. Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation presents a question of law. When reviewing questions of law, an appellate court has an obligation to resolve the questions independently of the conclusion reached by the trial court.

         3. Actions: Abatement, Survival, and Revival. A pending action must be revived in the manner provided by statute; a failure to do so means that the pending action has no force and effect with respect to any entity in whose name revivor was required.

         4. Actions: Parties: Death: Abatement, Survival, and Revival. The death of a party to a legal proceeding, where the cause of action survives, suspends the action as to the decedent until someone is substituted for the decedent as a party.

         5. Judgments: Jurisdiction. When a court lacks jurisdiction and nonetheless enters an order, such order is void.

         6. Judgments: Final Orders: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. A void order is a nullity which cannot constitute a judgment or final order that confers appellate jurisdiction on a court.

         7. Appeal and Error. The notice of appeal from a nonappealable order does not render void for lack of jurisdiction acts of the trial court taken in the interval between the filing of the notice and the dismissal of the appeal by the appellate court.

         8. Abatement, Survival, and Revival: Final Orders. An order reviving an action is not a final order.

         [296 Neb. 798] 9. Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. An appellate court is without jurisdiction to entertain appeals from nonfinal orders.

         Appeals from the District Court for Douglas County: Shelly R. Stratman, Judge. Appeals dismissed.

          Benjamin M. Belmont and Wm. Oliver Jenkins, of Brodkey. Peebles, Belmont & Line, L.L.P., for appellant.

          John A. Kinney and Jill M. Mason, of Kinney Mason, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

          Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch, and Funke, JJ.

          Heavican, C.J.

         INTRODUCTION

         This case involves two separate cases that were fully briefed and consolidated for oral argument.

         Steven B. Anderson filed a complaint alleging breach of contract and quantum meruit or unjust enrichment after Steve Finkle failed to perform on a promissory note. Following trial, but prior to the court issuing its order, Anderson died. The district court subsequently issued an order awarding Anderson the amount of the promissory note, plus interest.

         The court overruled Finkle's motion for new trial and granted Anderson's estate's motion for revivor to revive the matter. Finkle appeals. We dismiss the ...


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