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Thomas Grady Photography, Inc. v. Amazing Vapor, Ltd.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

October 26, 2018

Thomas Grady Photography, Inc., appellee,
v.
Amazing Vapor, Ltd., et al., appellees, and Thomas J. Anderson, appellant.

         1. Appeal and Error. Where no timely statement of errors is filed in an appeal from a county court to a district court, appellate review is limited to plain error.

         2. Corporations: Principal and Agent: Contracts: Liability: Proof. It is the agent's duty to disclose his or her capacity as an agent of a corporation if the agent is to escape personal liability for contracts made, and in the absence of such disclosure, the agent bears the burden of proof of showing that the contract was made while acting in a corporate, not individual, capacity.

         3. Courts: Jurisdiction: Equity. Save for county probate and trust powers and county courts' limited jurisdiction in granting temporary restraining orders, jurisdiction in equity actions remains in district courts.

         4. Courts: Jurisdiction: Equity: Statutes. Although by statute, county courts have concurrent original jurisdiction with the district court in all civil actions of any type when the amount in controversy is below a certain amount, this does not include equity actions.

         5. Corporations: Equity. Proceedings seeking to pierce the corporate veil are equitable actions.

          Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County, Gregory M. Schatz, Judge, on appeal thereto from the County Court for Douglas County, Stephanie R. Hansen, Judge. Judgment of District Court affirmed.

          Thomas J. Anderson, PC, L.L.O., pro se.

         [301 Neb. 402] Justin A. Roberts, of Lustgarten & Roberts, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee Thomas Grady Photography, Inc.

          Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, Papik, and Freudenberg, JJ.

          MILLER-LERMAN, J.

         NATURE OF CASE

         The appellee, Thomas Grady Photography, Inc. (Grady Photography), sued Amazing Vapor, Ltd.; MCJC Companies, Inc. (MCJC); Manuel Guillermo Calderon; and Thomas J. Anderson for breach of contract for failing to pay on two oral contracts for photography services. Although Calderon and Anderson were directors of Amazing Vapor, in this appeal, Anderson is the sole appellant and appears in his individual capacity and is self-represented. The county court for Douglas County entered a default judgment in favor of Grady Photography against Amazing Vapor, MCJC, and Calderon. Thereafter, the county court held a trial solely on the contract issue and whether Anderson was individually liable for the debt. On February 7, 2017, the county court found that Anderson owed Grady Photography $2, 400 under two oral contracts. Anderson appealed to the district court for Douglas County, which affirmed the county court's order. On appeal from the district court, Anderson contends for a variety of reasons that the district court erred when it affirmed the county court's order finding him liable. We affirm.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS

         In March 2014, Calderon and Anderson formed a corporation named "Amazing Vapor, Ltd.," and registered it in the State of Nebraska. The business wholesaled e-cigarette hardware, supplies, and liquids. The county court found that Grady Photography entered into two oral contracts during the spring of 2014 for promotional photography of these products, that Grady Photography was not paid for the work [301 Neb. 403] performed, and that Anderson received distributions from Amazing Vapor during the period Grady Photography was owed money. Amazing Vapor stopped operating in ...


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