State of Nebraska on behalf of Dawn Lockwood. Appellant,
Travis Laue, Appellee. and Dawn Lockwood, Appellee.
Equity: Appeal and Error. On appeal from an
equity action, an appellate court tries factual questions de
novo on the record and, as to questions of both fact and law,
is obligated to reach a conclusion independent of the
conclusion reached by the trial court, provided that where
credible evidence is in conflict in a material issue of fact,
the appellate court considers and may give weight to the fact
that the trial judge heard and observed the witnesses and
accepted one version of the facts rather than another.
Contempt: Appeal and Error. In a civil
contempt proceeding where a party seeks remedial relief for
an alleged violation of a court order, an appellate court
employs a three-part standard of review in which (1) the
trial court's resolution of issues of law is reviewed de
novo, (2) the trial court's factual findings are reviewed
for clear error, and (3) the trial court's determinations
of whether a party is in contempt and of the sanction to be
imposed is reviewed for abuse of discretion.
Child Support: Actions: Final Orders. Upon
receipt of a child support referee's findings and
recommendations, the district court is provided the
opportunity to have a further hearing and review regarding
the recommendation, and has the ability to accept or reject
all or any part of the report before its final disposition in
ratifying or modifying the recommendations of the referee.
Equity. In an equitable action, the district
court is vested with broad equitable powers and discretion to
fashion appropriate relief.
Child Support: Equity. An exception hearing
to a child support referee's report is an equitable
action, and it is within the discretion of the district court
to allow the presentation and receipt of new or additional
[24 Neb.App. 910] evidence at an exception hearing upon
receiving the referee's findings and recommendations.
Child Support: Actions: Final Orders. The
child support referee's recommendation is a nonbinding
recommendation, and the final determination is left to the
Child Support: Equity. As the district court
is provided the discretion to accept or reject all or any
part of the referee's report and ratify or modify the
referee's findings and recommendations, so shall the
district court in a court of equity have the discretion to
receive additional or new evidence at an exception hearing.
Child Support: Appeal and Error. When a
child support referee makes a report and no exception is
filed, the district court reviews the referee's report de
novo on the record.
Child Support: Equity. If an exception is
filed to a child support referee's report, the party
filing an exception is entitled to a hearing and the district
court as a court of equity has the discretion to allow the
presentation of new or additional evidence.
from the District Court for Buffalo County: William T.
Wright, Judge. Affirmed.
R. Eatherton, Buffalo County Attorney, and Andrew W.
Hoffmeister for appellant.
E. Schumacher, of Bruner Frank, L.L.C., for appellee Dawn
Chief Judge, and Inbody and Riedmann, Judges.