Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory
interpretation presents a question of law, which an appellate
court resolves independently of the conclusion reached by the
Speedy Trial: Waiver: Motions for
Continuance. Although the amendments to Neb. Rev.
Stat. § 29-1207(4)(b) (Reissue 2016) were designed to
prevent abuse, it does not follow that the waiver set forth
therein applies only if the defendant's continuance was
in bad faith.
Speedy Trial: Waiver: Motions for Continuance:
Time. To determine if a defendant has permanently
waived his or her statutory right to a speedy trial, the
inquiry is simply whether the defendant's motion to
continue resulted in a trial date that exceeded the 6-month
period, as calculated with the excludable periods up to the
date of the motion; the reason for and nature of the motion
to continue are of no consequence.
Speedy Trial: Time: Indictments and
Informations. To calculate the 6-month clock, a
court must exclude the day the information was filed, count
forward 6 months, back up 1 day, and then add any time
excluded under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-1207(4) (Reissue
Speedy Trial: Time: Pleadings. Excludable
periods attributable to pre-trial motions such as motions to
suppress, motions to quash, demurrers, pleas in abatement,
and motions for change of venue begin on the date of filing
and end on the date of final disposition of the motions.
Speedy Trial: Time: Pretrial Procedure: Motions for
Continuance. Continuances of pretrial conferences
are excludable from the speedy trial clock from the original
date of the pretrial conference to the newly scheduled
pretrial conference date.
Neb. 157] 7. Trial: Motions for
Continuance: Time. An indefinite continuance of
trial runs from the day of the motion until either the
defendant's notice of a request for trial or the date set
for trial by the court's own motion.
Motions for Continuance: Time. Any motion to
continue that fails to set forth at the outset a definite
length of time is indefinite.
Appeal and Error. When an issue is raised
for the first time in an appellate court, it will be
disregarded inasmuch as a lower court cannot commit error in
resolving an issue never presented and submitted to it for
from the District Court for Saunders County: Mary C.
Gilbride, Judge. Affirmed.
Jennifer D. Joakim for appellant Gerard Bridgeford. Mark A.
Steele, of Steele Law Office, for appellant
Bridgeford. Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and
Siobhan E. Duffy for appellee.
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch,
and Funke, JJ.
defendants in these consolidated appeals assert that the
district court erred in denying their motions for absolute
discharge. The district court determined that under the plain
language of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-1207(4)(b) (Reissue
2016), the defendants had permanently waived their statutory
speedy trial right by requesting continuances that resulted
in moving their trial dates from a date within the statutory
6-month period to a date outside the statutory 6-month
period. The defendants dispute the court's reading of
§ 29-1207(4)(b) and argue that the permanent waiver set
forth therein does not apply because they requested
continuances for a definite rather than an indefinite period
of time. They also argue that they should not be [298 Neb.
158] deemed to have permanently waived their statutory right
to a speedy trial when the requested continuances were
reasonable and not motivated by gamesmanship.
Bridgeford and Judith Bridgeford were charged on June 3,
2014, with several crimes. Gerard was charged with 10 counts
of possessing marijuana with intent to deliver and 5 counts
of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver to minors.
Judith was charged with 10 counts of aiding and abetting
possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and 5 counts
of aiding and abetting possession of marijuana with intent to
deliver to minors.
trials were set for September 24, 2014. On August 14, Gerard
filed a motion to continue his scheduled trial. On August 15,
the court granted Gerard's motion to continue. The court
set a new date of September 22 for Gerard's status
hearing and set the jury trial for October 15.
similarly moved for a continuance on August 18, 2014, which
the court granted that same date. The court set the new date
for Judith's status hearing for September 29. The court
did not set a new trial date at that time.
September 17, 2014, Gerard moved to continue his status
hearing from September 22 to September 29. The court granted
Judith's status hearing on September 29, 2014, the court
granted Judith's motion to remove her case from the trial
docket. She explained that she intended to file a motion to