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Nadeem v. State

Supreme Court of Nebraska

December 8, 2017

Mohammed Nadeem, appellant,
v.
State of Nebraska, appellee.

         1. Motions to Dismiss: Pleadings: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews a district court's order granting a motion to dismiss de novo, accepting all allegations in the complaint as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.

         2. Motions to Dismiss: Pleadings. For purposes of a motion to dismiss, a court may consider some materials that are part of the public record or do not contradict the complaint, as well as materials that are necessarily embraced by the pleadings.

         3. Pleadings: Complaints. Documents embraced by the pleadings are materials alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the pleadings.

         4. ___: ___. Documents embraced by the complaint are not considered matters outside the pleadings.

         5. Res Judicata: Judgments. Res judicata bars relitigation of any right, fact, or matter directly addressed or necessarily included in a former adjudication if (1) the former judgment was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, (2) the former judgment was a final judgment, (3) the former judgment was on the merits, and (4) the same parties or their privies were involved in both actions.

         6. Convictions: Claims: Pleadings. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4603 (Reissue 2016), a party alleging a wrongful conviction claim must plead (1) conviction and sentence for a felony for which the party has served at least part of the sentence; (2) pardon, vacation of the conviction, or reversal and remand without a resulting retrial and conviction; (3) actual innocence of the crime; and (4) that the plaintiff did not commit or suborn perjury, fabricate evidence, or otherwise make a false statement to cause or bring about such conviction or the conviction of another, except for coerced confessions or guilty pleas.

         [298 Neb. 330] 7. Sentences: Words and Phrases. Legal innocence is defined as the absence of one or more procedural or legal bases to support the sentence given to a defendant.

         8. ___: ___. Actual innocence refers to the absence of facts that are prerequisites for the sentence given to a defendant.

         9. Actions: Complaints. In determining whether a complaint states a cause of action, a court is free to ignore legal conclusions, unsupported conclusions, unwarranted inferences, and sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations.

         Petition for further review from the Court of Appeals, Pirtle, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges, on appeal thereto from the District Court for Lancaster County, Robert R. Otte, Judge. Judgment of Court of Appeals reversed, and cause remanded with directions.

          Jeffry D. Patterson for appellant.

          Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Ryan S. Post for appellee.

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

          KELCH, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Mohammed Nadeem filed a claim against the State for damages under the Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act.[1] The district court granted the State's motion to dismiss under Neb. Ct. R. Pldg. § 6-1112(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Nadeem appealed to the Nebraska Court of Appeals, which reversed the district court's dismissal.[2] We granted the State's petition for further review. Because Nadeem has not sufficiently pled a claim of actual innocence, we reverse, and remand to the Court of Appeals with directions to affirm the order of the district court.

         [298 Neb. 331] FACTS

         Background

         Nadeem was convicted in 2010 of attempted first degree sexual assault and attempted third degree sexual assault of H.K., a minor. These offenses were based on an encounter that Nadeem had with a 14-year-old girl in 2009 when he was 22 years old. The evidence presented at Nadeem's criminal trial is summarized in his original direct appeal, [3] but the facts according to Nadeem's complaint are summarized below.

         In 2009, Nadeem met a 14-year-old girl in a public library and engaged in conversation with her. Nadeem asked the girl questions such as how old she was, where she went to school, and whether she had a boyfriend. The girl told Nadeem that she was not allowed to give out her telephone number. Nadeem asked the girl if he could give her his telephone number, and she said, '"I guess.'" Nadeem wrote down his telephone number for her and told her that he hoped she would call.

         When the girl told her mother about her interaction with Nadeem, the mother became very upset. She complained to the head librarian, who suggested that she call the police.

         The girl's mother did call the police, and the next day, investigators invited the girl and her mother into their headquarters for recorded interviews. The investigators then had the girl make a recorded '"controlled call'" to Nadeem, instructing the girl on what to say and how to respond to Nadeem. According to Nadeem, the purpose of the call was to induce him into a conversation with the girl that involved sexual content. The officers instructed the girl to tell Nadeem to meet her at the library and to bring a condom. Nadeem went to the library as requested, but did not bring a condom. Police met Nadeem there and arrested him.

         Nadeem's convictions for attempted first degree sexual assault and attempted third degree sexual assault of a minor [298 Neb. 332] were ultimately vacated by the Court of Appeals.[4] Although the Court of Appeals rejected Nadeem's argument that there was insufficient evidence to sustain his convictions, it reversed Nadeem's convictions and remanded the cause for a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel and based on the denial of a jury instruction for the defense of entrapment.[5]The State sought further review with this court in 2013. which we denied. During that time, Nadeem completed his prison sentence.

         WRONGFUL CONVICTION CLAIM

         In 2015, Nadeem filed a claim against the State for compensation under the Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act, which claims are filed under the State Tort Claims Act.[6] In part of Nadeem's complaint, he alleged that he had been entrapped. The State then filed a motion to dismiss Nadeem's claim, arguing that the affirmative defense of entrapment is legally insufficient to show actual innocence (as opposed to legal ...


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