In re Interest of Dana H., a child under 18 years of age.
Dana H., Appellant. State of Nebraska, Appellee.
Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. An
appellate court reviews juvenile cases de novo on the record
and reaches a conclusion independently of the juvenile
Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. A
jurisdictional question which does not involve a factual
dispute is determined by an appellate court as a matter of
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.
Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Under Neb.
Rev. Stat. § 25-1902 (Reissue 2016), 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.
Juvenile Courts: Final Orders: Appeal and
Error. A proceeding before a juvenile court is a
"special proceeding" for appellate purposes.
Final Orders: Words and Phrases: Appeal and
Error. A substantial right is an essential legal
right, not a mere technical right. But, for purposes of
appeal, it is not enough that the right itself be
substantial; the effect of the order on that right must also
Minors: Proof. The exhaustion requirement of
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-251.01(7)(a) (Reissue 2016) demands
evidence establishing that [299 Neb. 198] no other
community-based resources have a reasonable possibility for
success or that all options for community-based services have
been thoroughly considered and none are feasible.
___. The requirement of Neb. Rev. Stat. §
43-251.01(7)(b) (Reissue 2016) of a significant risk of harm
to a juvenile is satisfied by a showing of a reasonable
likelihood that the juvenile will suffer a material or
from the Separate Juvenile Court of Lancaster County: Linda
S. Porter, Judge. Affirmed.
Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender, and Mark D. Carraher
Kelly, Lancaster County Attorney, and Maureen E. Lamski for
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch, and
timely appeals from two interim juvenile court orders, one
dictating an out-of-home placement and another continuing it.
The appeal presents two issues. First, was it taken from a
final order? It was, because the placement order
substantially affected a substantial right for an indefinite
duration. Second, did the placement orders comply with the
statutory requirements of (1) exhaustion of "[a]ll
available community-based resources" and (2)
"significant risk of harm to the juvenile or
community" from maintaining in-home placement? After
interpreting the statute, we conclude the placement complied
with both requirements. Therefore, we affirm.
Neb. 199] II. BACKGROUND
October 2014, the State filed a supplemental petition
alleging that as a juvenile, Dana unlawfully possessed a
switchblade knife in violation of a city ordinance. The
separate juvenile court found the allegations to be true by
proof beyond a reasonable doubt and determined that Dana was
a juvenile as defined by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(1)
(Supp. 2015). Dana unsuccessfully appealed his adjudication,
and no disposition order was entered.
the appeal was pending, the State filed a second supplemental
petition alleging that Dana was habitually truant from
school. Dana entered a plea of no contest, and the separate
juvenile court found the allegations to be true by proof
beyond a reasonable doubt. Final disposition on the second
supplemental petition was consolidated with disposition of
the supplemental petition. The court continued the matter and
entered interim orders.
court entered numerous successive interim orders, continuing
prior orders and requiring further in-home services to Dana
and his parents, with whom he resided. After the in-home
services proved ineffective, the court ordered placement at
Omaha Home for Boys as soon as placement was available. It
specifically found that reasonable efforts were made and all
available community resources expended to maintain Dana in
his home and that it would be contrary to Dana's welfare
to remain in the home due to his refusal to attend school or
cooperate with the offered in-home services. The juvenile
court continued this interim order and continued the
appealed, and we moved the case to our docket.
Neb. 200] III. ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR
assigns, restated, that the juvenile court erred when it
ordered him to be removed from his family home when there was
insufficient evidence that all community-based resources had
been exhausted and that maintaining him in his ...