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Doe v. McCoy

Supreme Court of Nebraska

July 28, 2017

Jane and John Doe, wife and husband, appellants,
v.
William Bruce McCoy, appellee.

         1. Motions to Dismiss: Appeal and Error. A district court's grant of a motion to dismiss is reviewed de novo.

         2. Limitations of Actions. The determination of which statute of limitations applies is a question of law.

         3. Judgments: Appeal and Error. An appellate court independently reviews questions of law decided by a lower court.

         4. Statutes: Legislature. In order for a court to inquire into a statute's legislative history, the statute in question must be open to construction, and a statute is open to construction when its terms require interpretation or may reasonably be considered ambiguous.

         5. Limitations of Actions. The time limitation of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-228 (Reissue 2016) does not apply to actions for which the existing statute of limitations had run at the time § 25-228 was enacted.

         Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Gregory M. Schatz, Judge. Affirmed.

          Daniel H. Friedman, of Friedman Law Offices, PC, L.L.O., for appellants.

          James Martin Davis, of Davis Law Office, for appellee.

          Danny C. Leavitt for amicus curiae Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys.

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

         [297 Neb. 322] MILLER-LERMAN, J.

         NATURE OF CASE

         The plaintiffs in this case, who filed their complaint using the pseudonyms "Jane Doe" and "John Doe, " appeal the order of the district court for Douglas County which dismissed their complaint against William Bruce McCoy. The court determined that the complaint should be dismissed for two reasons: (1) The action was time barred under the applicable statutes of limitations, and (2) the complaint was not brought in the real names of the parties in interest. We affirm the dismissal of the complaint on the basis that the statutes of limitations barred ...


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