Thomas Nesbitt, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated nebraska state penitentiary segregated prisoners, appellant,
Scott Frakes et al., appellees.
Motions to Dismiss: Pleadings: Appeal and
Error. A district court's grant of a motion to
dismiss on the pleadings is reviewed de novo, accepting the
allegations in the complaint as true and drawing all
reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.
Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. Before
reaching the legal issues presented for review, an appellate
court must determine whether it has jurisdiction.
Courts: Jurisdiction. While it is not a
constitutional prerequisite for jurisdiction, the existence
of an actual case or controversy is necessary for the
exercise of judicial power.
Actions: Moot Question. An action becomes
moot when the issues initially presented in the proceedings
no longer exist or the parties lack a legally cognizable
interest in the outcome of the action.
Moot Question: Words and Phrases. A moot
case is one which seeks to determine a question that no
longer rests upon existing facts or rights-i.e., a case in
which the issues presented are no longer alive.
Moot Question. Mootness refers to events
occurring after the filing of a suit which eradicate the
requisite personal interest in the resolution of the dispute
that existed at the beginning of the litigation.
Moot Question: Jurisdiction: Appeal and
Error. Although mootness does not prevent appellate
jurisdiction, it is a justiciability doctrine that can
prevent courts from exercising jurisdiction.
Moot Question. As a general rule, a moot
case is subject to summary dismissal. 9. Injunction:
Intent. The purpose of an injunction is to restrain
actions that have not yet been taken.
Neb. 2] 10. Injunction.
Injunctive relief is preventive, prohibitory, or protective,
and equity usually will not issue an injunction when the act
complained of has been committed and the injury has been
Declaratory Judgments: Moot Question. A
declaratory judgment action becomes moot when the issues
initially presented in the proceedings no longer exist or the
parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome of
Declaratory Judgments: Justiciable Issues.
At the time that the declaration is sought, there must be an
actual justiciable issue from which the court can declare law
as it applies to a given set of facts.
Justiciable Issues. A justiciable issue
requires a present, substantial controversy between parties
having adverse legal interests susceptible to immediate
resolution and capable of present judicial enforcement.
Moot Question: Appeal and Error. An
appellate court may choose to review an otherwise moot case
under the public interest exception if it involves a matter
affecting the public interest or when other rights or
liabilities may be affected by its determination.
Moot Question: Words and Phrases. The public
interest exception requires a consideration of the public or
private nature of the question presented, the desirability of
an authoritative adjudication for future guidance of public
officials, and the likelihood of future recurrence of the
same or a similar problem.
Moot Question: Appeal and Error. An
application of the public interest exception to the mootness
doctrine is inappropriate when the issues presented on appeal
do not inherently evade appellate review.
Class Actions. In order to justify class
action treatment, there must exist both a question of common
or general interest and numerous parties so as to
make it impracticable to bring all the parties before the
___. In determining whether a class action is properly
brought, considerable discretion is vested in the trial
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.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: Jodi L. Nelson,
Judge. Appeal dismissed.
Nesbitt, pro se.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Timothy R. Ertz
Neb. 3] Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, and Cassel, JJ., and
Luther and O'Gorman, District Judges.
Nesbitt brought suit against the Nebraska Department of
Correctional Services (DCS), its director, and various other
officials and employees of the DCS, alleging that the
conditions at the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP) violate
his rights under Nebraska law and that his claims are
representative of all inmates housed in the segregation units
at the NSP.
an appeal from an order dismissing Nesbitt's amended
complaint for failing to state a cause of action. Because
Nesbitt no longer resides at the NSP, this matter is moot and
the appeal is dismissed.
is an inmate with the DCS. At the time he filed his pro se
complaint "for class action, declaratory, and injunctive
relief, " he resided in a segregated unit at the NSP,
located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nesbitt's complaint
asserted state law claims based on a range of matters within
the correctional facility's setting, including
overcrowding, cell assignments, flooding, and inadequate
age 71, claims he suffers from a debilitating spinal
condition which causes him sciatic nerve pain and restless
leg syndrome. He claims, according to his medical diagnosis,
he is required to sleep from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day in
order to prevent paralysis. He asserts prison officials
violate his rights when they allow the prison to become
overpopu-lated and, as a result, place another ...