Visitation: Appeal and Error. Determinations
concerning grandparent visitation are initially entrusted to
the discretion of the trial court, whose determinations on
appeal will be reviewed de novo on the record and affirmed in
the absence of an abuse of the trial court's discretion.
Standing. Under the doctrine of standing, a
court may decline to determine the merits of a legal claim
because the party advancing it is not properly situated to be
entitled to its judicial determination.
Statutes. Statutory interpretation presents
a question of law.
Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory
language is to be given its plain and ordinary meaning, and
an appellate court will not resort to interpretation to
ascertain the meaning of words which are plain, direct, and
Statutes: Legislature: Intent. In discerning
the meaning of a statute, a court determines and gives effect
to the purpose and intent of the Legislature as ascertained
from the entire language considered in its plain, ordinary,
and popular sense.
Statutes. A court must attempt to give
effect to all parts of a statute, and if it can be avoided,
no word, clause, or sentence will be rejected as superfluous
The whole and every part of a statute must be considered in
fixing the meaning of any of its parts.
Statutes: Intent. In construing a statute, a
court looks to the statutory objective to be accomplished,
the evils and mischiefs sought to be remedied, and the
purpose to be served. A court must then reasonably or
liberally construe the statute to achieve the statute's
purpose, rather than construing it in a manner that defeats
the statutory purpose.
Statutes: Courts. Generally, statutes in
derogation of the common law are to be strictly construed.
Neb. 172] 10. Visitation: Statutes: Courts.
Grandparent visitation did not exist at common law, and thus
should be strictly limited to the definition provided by law.
from the District Court for Hamilton County: Rachel A.
M. Buchanan, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.
D. Grafton, of Grafton Law Office, P.C., L.L.O., for
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, and
Papik, JJ., and Welch, Judge.
Heiden and Ann Heiden filed a complaint to establish
grandparent visitation. Visitation was granted. Tracy J.
Norris, the biological father of the children impacted by the
order, has appealed. The primary issue on appeal is whether
the Heidens are grandparents for purposes of the grandparent
visitation statutes, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 43-1801 to
43-1803 (Reissue 2016). We vacate the order of visitation and
remand the cause with directions to dismiss.
and Katherine Norris were divorced in 2016 in Hamilton
County, Nebraska. The couple had three children together.
Katherine died on July 14, 2016. Since that time, the
children have resided with Tracy in Fort Collins, Colorado;
the Heidens live in Hampton, Nebraska. The record includes a
partial transcript from Tracy and Katherine's divorce
proceeding in which the Heidens acknowledge that they were
not Katherine's legal (adoptive or biological) parents,
but had raised Katherine since she was 3 years of age.
October 21, 2016, the Heidens sought grandparent visitation,
alleging that they were
[300 Neb. 173] grandparents of the minor children as the
context requires as they have acted as the grandparents
of the minor children during their entire lives. Prior to the
death of the minor children's mother, a significant
beneficial relationship existed between the minor children
and the [Heidens] as they resided together from approximately
November of 2013 to July 14th, 2016 and ...