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In re Kenneth B.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

February 27, 2018

In re Interest of Kenneth B., Jr., et al., children under 18 years of age.
v.
Kenneth B., appellant. State of Nebraska, appellee,

         1. Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews juvenile cases de novo on the record and reaches a conclusion independently of the juvenile court's findings.

         2. Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. A jurisdictional question which does not involve a factual dispute is determined by an appellate court as a matter of law.

         3. Juvenile Courts: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. In a juvenile case, as in any other appeal, before reaching the legal issues presented for review, it is the duty of an appellate court to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the matter before it.

         4. Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. For an appellate court to acquire jurisdiction of an appeal, there must be a final order entered by the court from which the appeal is taken.

         5. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. The three types of final orders which may be reviewed on appeal are (1) an order which affects a substantial right and which determines the action and prevents a judgment, (2) an order affecting a substantial right made during a special proceeding, and (3) an order affecting a substantial right made on summary application in an action after judgment is rendered.

         6. Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. Juvenile court proceedings are special proceedings for purposes of appeal.

         7. Words and Phrases. A substantial right is an essential legal right, not a mere technical right.

         8. Juvenile Courts: Parental Rights: Parent and Child: Time: Final Orders. Whether a substantial right of a parent has been affected by an [25 Neb.App. 579] order in juvenile court litigation is dependent upon both the object of the order and the length of time over which the parent's relationship with the juvenile may reasonably be expected to be disturbed.

         9. Juvenile Courts: Final Orders: Time: Appeal and Error. In juvenile cases, where an order from a juvenile court is already in place and a subsequent order merely extends the time for which the previous order is applicable, the subsequent order by itself does not affect a substantial right and does not extend the time in which the original order may be appealed.

         10. Juvenile Courts: Parental Rights: Parent and Child: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. An order that continues prior dispositional orders but changes the permanency objective from family reunification to another objective is not a final, appealable order unless the parent's ability to achieve rehabilitation and family reunification has been clearly eliminated.

         Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County: Elizabeth Crnkovich, Judge. Appeal dismissed.

          Jane M. McNeil for appellant.

          Donald W. Kleine, Douglas County Attorney, and Jennifer C. Clark for appellee.

          Maureen K. Monahan, guardian ad litem.

          Moore, Chief Judge, and Inbody and Bishop, Judges.

          ...


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