In re Change of Name of Whilde.
Margaret Whilde, appellant. Lillias Delong Dulles Whilde, a minor. by and through her mother and next friend, Hannah Whilde, appellee,
Motions to Vacate: Time. In a civil case, a
court has inherent power to vacate or modify its own
judgments at any time during the term at which those
judgments are pronounced, and such power exists entirely
independent of any statute.
___. The decision to vacate an order at any time during the
term in which the judgment is rendered is within the
discretion of the court; such a decision will be reversed
only if it is shown that the district court abused its
Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of
discretion occurs when the trial court's decision is
based upon reasons that are untenable or unreasonable or if
its action is clearly against justice or conscience, reason,
Motions to Vacate: Judgments: Time. In the
absence of an applicable rule to the contrary, a motion
asking the court to exercise its inherent power to vacate or
modify its own judgment does not toll the time for taking an
from the District Court for Otoe County: Michael A. Smith,
Anthony W. Liakos, of Govier, Katskee, Suing & Maxell.
PC, L.L.O., for appellant.
E. Bear, of Reinsch, Slattery, Bear & Minahan, PC,
L.L.O., for appellee.
Neb. 511] Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, and Stacy,
JJ., and Riedmann, Judge.
Whilde appeals the order of the district court for Otoe
County, Nebraska, which overruled a motion to vacate the
court's earlier order which granted a request to change
the name of a minor child. She argued that she was entitled
to notice by certified mail as a "noncustodial
parent" under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21, 271(2)
(Reissue 2016), and that because she had not received such
notice, the order changing the child's name should be
vacated. We affirm the district court's order overruling
Margaret's motion to vacate.
minor child at issue in this case was born in January 2010.
On December 21, 2016, the child's biological mother,
Hannah Whilde, filed on behalf of the child a petition under
§ 25-21, 271 to change the child's name. The request
was to change the child's two middle names, "Delong
Dulles, " to two new middle names, "Coco Nadine,
" and to change her last name from "Whilde" to
Hannah's family name of "Hoch"; no request was
made to change the child's first name. After Hannah filed
the petition, she caused notice of the filing of the petition
to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Otoe
County for 2 consecutive weeks.
district court held a hearing on the petition for name change
on January 24, 2017. At the hearing, Hannah offered into
evidence proof of publication of the notice. Hannah testified
at the hearing that she was the natural mother of the child,
that there was no noncustodial parent with respect to the
child, and that there was "no natural father"
involved because the child was "the product of a sperm
donation." Hannah further testified regarding the
reasons for the name change. She testified that the name
change was not for the purpose [298 Neb. 512] of avoiding
creditors or hiding the child. She testified instead that the
two middle names she proposed were a nickname by which the
child had generally been known since birth and the name of
"a beloved great-grandmother" who was "very
close to" the child. Hannah did not testify at the
hearing regarding the reasons for changing the child's
last name; however, in the petition, Hannah had stated that
she wanted the child to have Hannah's family name and
that Hannah was changing her own last name from