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Barrios v. Commissioner of Labor of Nebraska Department of Labor

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

April 24, 2018

Walter A. Barrios, appellee,
v.
Commissioner of Labor of the Nebraska Department of Labor, appellant, and Custom Rental Services, Inc., appellee.

         1. Administrative Law: Judgments: Appeal and Error. A judgment or final order rendered by a district court in a judicial review pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act may be reversed, vacated, or modified by an appellate court for errors appearing on the record.

         2. ___: ___: ___ . When reviewing an order of a district court under the Administrative Procedure Act for errors appearing on the record, the inquiry is whether the decision conforms to the law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.

         3. Judgments: Appeal and Error. Whether a decision conforms to law is by definition a question of law, in connection with which an appellate court reaches a conclusion independent of that reached by the lower court.

         4. Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. 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.

         5. 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; conversely, an appellate court is without jurisdiction to entertain appeals from non-final orders.

         6. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. If an order is interlocutory, immediate appeal from the order is disallowed so that courts may avoid piecemeal review, chaos in trial procedure, and a succession of appeals granted in the same case to secure advisory opinions to govern further actions of the trial court.

         7. Administrative Law: Appeal and Error. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, the district court sits as an intermediate appellate court. [25 Neb.App. 836]

         8. Courts: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. When a district court, sitting as an intermediate appellate court, enters an order that affects a substantial right, that order is final for purposes of appeal if its judgment can be executed without any further action by the district court.

         9. ___: ___: ___ . Where the district court, sitting as an intermediate appellate court, reverses a judgment in favor of a party, and remands the matter for further proceedings, that party's substantial right has been affected.

         10. Estoppel: Words and Phrases. Equitable estoppel is a bar which precludes a party from denying or asserting anything to the contrary of those matters established as the truth by his or her own deeds, acts, or representations.

         11. Equity: Estoppel. The doctrine of equitable estoppel applies where, as a result of conduct of a party upon which another person has in good faith relied to his or her detriment, the acting party is absolutely precluded, both at law and in equity, from asserting rights which might have otherwise existed.

         12. Estoppel. The elements of equitable estoppel are, as to the party estopped: (1) conduct which amounts to a false representation or concealment of material facts, or at least which is calculated to convey the impression that the facts are otherwise than, and inconsistent with, those which the party subsequently attempts to assert; (2) the intention, or at least the expectation, that such conduct shall be acted upon by, or influence, the other party or other persons; and (3) knowledge, actual or constructive, of the real facts.

         13. ___ . The elements of equitable estoppel are, as to the party claiming estoppel: (1) lack of knowledge and of the means of knowledge of the truth as to the facts in question; (2) reliance, in good faith, upon the conduct or statements of the party to be estopped; and (3) action or inaction based thereon of such a character as to change the position or status of the party claiming the estoppel, to his or her injury, detriment, or prejudice.

         14. Administrative Law: Courts: Appeal and Error. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, the district court has the discretion to remand a matter for resolution of issues that were not raised before the agency if the court determines that the interest of justice would be served by the resolution of any other issue not raised before the agency.

         15. Rules of the Supreme Court: Administrative Law: Corporations: Attorneys at Law. Under the Nebraska Supreme Court rules, a corporate officer who is not a lawyer is not prohibited from representing the corporation at an agency hearing under certain conditions.

          [25 Neb.App. 837] Appeal from the District Court for Hall County: Mark J. Young, Judge. Affirmed in part as modified, and in part reversed.

          Katie S. Thurber, Thomas A. Ukinski, and Dale M. Shotkoski for appellant.

          Thomas A. Wagoner for appellee Walter A. Barrios.

          Riedmann and Bishop, Judges, and Inbody, Judge, Retired.

          ...


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