Administrative Law: Judgments: Appeal and Error. When
reviewing an order of a district court under the
Administrative Procedure Act for errors appearing on the
record, the inquiry is whether the decision conforms to the
law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither
arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.
Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation is a
question of law that an appellate court resolves
independently of the trial court.
Statutes: Legislature: Intent. When asked to interpret a
statute, a court must determine and give effect to the
purpose and intent of the Legislature as ascertained from the
entire language of the statute considered in its plain,
ordinary, and popular sense.
Statutes: Intent. In construing a statute, a court must look
at the statutory objective to be accomplished, the problem to
be remedied, or the purpose to be served, and then place on
the statute a reasonable construction which best achieves the
purpose of the statute, rather than a construction defeating
the statutory purpose.
Actions: Service of Process. A civil action is commenced by
filing in the proper court a petition and causing a summons
to be issued.
from the District Court for Sarpy County: William B. Zastera,
Judge. Reversed with directions.
S. Thurber, Thomas A. Ukinski, and Dale M. Shotkoski for
McCoy, pro se.
Neb. 298] Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel,
Stacy. Kelch, and Funke, JJ.
1995, the Nebraska Department of Labor (Department) issued a
"Notice of Deputy's Overpayment
Determination'' to Troy McCoy, informing McCoy that
he had been overpaid $850 for unemployment benefits. In 2016,
his income tax refund from the State of Nebraska in the
amount of $293 was intercepted to partially pay the
overpayment judgment, as authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. §
48-665(1)(c) (Cum. Supp. 2016). McCoy appealed from that
a hearing, an appeal tribunal, citing Neb. Rev. Stat. §
25-218 (Reissue 2016), concluded that the Department's
action was barred by a 4-year statute of limitations. The
Department petitioned the Sarpy County District Court for
review of the tribunal's determination. The district
court affirmed, and the Department appeals. We conclude there
is no time limitation to the interception of a state tax
refund under § 48-665(1)(c), and accordingly, we reverse
the decision of the district court with directions to reverse
the decision of the appeal tribunal.
October 25, 1995, notice was mailed to McCoy indicating that
he had been overpaid unemployment benefits in the amount of
$850 and that he was liable for repayment of that amount. No
appeal was taken, and no funds were repaid at that time.
February 22, 2016, McCoy received notice that his income tax
refund totaling $293 had been intercepted and applied to his
overpayment of unemployment benefits. McCoy, acting pro se,
appealed, contending that the Department should not have
intercepted his 2015 refund of $293. He also took issue with
the Department's interception of his 1997 income tax
refund in the amount of $217.
Neb. 299] A hearing was held before an appeal tribunal. That
tribunal found in McCoy's favor, holding that the
Department was barred by the statute of limitations from
intercepting the 2015 refund. The Department appealed to the
district court, arguing that the statute providing for the
authority to intercept tax refunds to apply against
unemployment benefits did not include a statute of
limitations and that, in any case, a statute of limitations
is an affirmative defense that was not raised by McCoy and
thus was waived. The district court affirmed.
Department assigns, restated and consolidated, that the
district court erred in affirming the appeal tribunal's
decision that the Department was barred from intercepting