Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Estate of Newman

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

April 17, 2018

In re Estate of Harley Newman, deceased.
v.
Stewart Newman, appellant. Linda Martens, Personal Representative of the Estate of Harley Newman, deceased, appellee,

         1. Decedents' Estates: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews probate cases for error appearing on the record made in the county court.

         2. Decedents' Estates: Judgments: Appeal and Error. When reviewing questions of law in a probate matter, an appellate court reaches a conclusion independent of the determination reached by the court below.

         3. Decedents' Estates: Appeal and Error. The probate court's factual findings have the effect of a verdict, and an appellate court will not set those findings aside unless they are clearly erroneous.

         4. Trial: Judges: Words and Phrases. An ex parte communication occurs when a judge communicates with any person concerning a pending or impending proceeding without notice to an adverse party.

         5. Trial: Witnesses: Parties. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 24-734(4) (Reissue 2016) only pertains to allowing a witness to be examined telephonically with the consent of the parties. It does not address permitting a party to appear and participate at trial telephonically.

         6. Due Process: Trial: Witnesses: Evidence. When a person has a right to be heard, procedural due process includes a reasonable opportunity to refute or defend against a charge or accusation and a reasonable opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses and present evidence on the charge or accusation.

         7. Constitutional Law: Prisoners. A prisoner has no absolute constitutional right to be released from prison so that the prisoner can be present at a hearing in a civil action.

         8. Due Process: Prisoners: Right to Counsel. Although due process does not require the appointment of counsel to represent a prisoner in a private civil matter, due process does require that the prisoner receive [25 Neb.App. 772] meaningful access to the courts to defend against suits brought against him or her.

         9. Prisoners: Courts: Claims: Damages: Proof. To establish a violation of the right of meaningful access to the courts, a prisoner must establish the State has not provided an opportunity to litigate a claim challenging the prisoner's sentence or conditions of confinement in a court of law, which resulted in actual injury.

         10. Constitutional Law: Prisoners: Courts. The constitutional right to access the courts does not guarantee inmates the wherewithal to transform themselves into litigating engines capable of filing everything from shareholder derivative actions to slip-and-fall claims. The tools it requires to be provided are those that the inmates need in order to attack their sentences directly or collaterally and in order to challenge the conditions of their confinement. Impairment of any other litigating capacity is simply one of the incidental and perfectly constitutional consequences of conviction and incarceration.

         11. Pretrial Procedure: Appeal and Error. Decisions regarding discovery are directed to the discretion of the trial court, and will be upheld in the absence of an abuse of discretion.

         12. Pretrial Procedure: Proof: Appeal and Error. The party asserting error in a discovery ruling bears the burden of showing that the ruling was an abuse of discretion.

         13. Appeal and Error. An appellate court is not obligated to engage in an analysis that is not necessary to adjudicate the case and controversy before it.

          Appeal from the County Court for Douglas County: Craig Q. McDermott, Judge.

          Stewart Newman, pro se.

          Nick Halbur, of Elder Law of Omaha, PC, L.L.O., for appellee.

          Pirtle, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges.

          Pirtle, Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Stewart Newman appeals from an "Order for Probate of Will" entered in the county court for Douglas County wherein the court found that the last will and testament of Harley [25 Neb.App. 773] Newman, executed February 15, 2016, was a valid will and should be probated by the personal representative, Linda Martens. Stewart challenges multiple pretrial matters, as well as the court's determination that the will was valid, and the court's failure to allow his ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.