Karen Simms, Biological Grandmother and NEXT FRIEND OF MEGAN MARIE FRIEL ET AL., minor children, appellee,
Jeffrey Allen Friel, appellant.
Judgments: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. A
jurisdictional question that does not involve a factual
dispute is determined by an appellate court as a matter of
law, which requires the appellate court to reach a conclusion
independent of the lower court's decision.
Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and
Error. For an appellate court to acquire
jurisdiction of an appeal, there must be a final order or
final judgment entered by the court from which the appeal is
Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Among the
three types of final orders which may be reviewed on appeal
is an order that affects a substantial right made during a
An order affects a substantial right when the right would be
significantly undermined or irrevocably lost by postponing
Petition for further review from the Court of Appeals. Moore,
Chief Judge, and Riedmann, Judge, and Inbody, Judge, Retired,
on appeal thereto from the District Court for Sarpy County,
Stefanie A. Martinez, County Judge. Judgment of Court of
Jeffrey A. Wagner, of Schirber & Wagner, L.L.R, for
S. Melton, of Reagan, Melton & Delaney, L.L.R, for
Neb. 2]Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke,
Papik, and Freudenberg, JJ.
the district court granted temporary visitation of his minor
children to the children's maternal grandmother, Karen
Simms, Jeffrey Allen Friel appealed. Friel contended that the
district court lacked the authority to make a temporary
order. The Nebraska Court of Appeals determined that the
temporary visitation order was a final, appealable order, but
that the appeal was moot because the order had expired by its
terms. See Simms v. Friel, 25 Neb.App. 640, 911
N.W.2d 636 (2018). The Court of Appeals nonetheless examined
the merits of Friel's claims under the public interest
exception to the mootness doctrine and found that district
courts do have authority to issue temporary orders allowing
visitation during the pendency of grandparent visitation
proceedings. On further review, we conclude that the order
for temporary grandparent visitation was not a final,
appealable order. Therefore, although we disagree with the
Court of Appeals' conclusion that it had jurisdiction
over the case, we affirm its dismissal of the appeal.
the maternal grandmother of Friel's three minor children,
filed a petition for grandparent visitation under Neb. Rev.
Stat. § 43-1802 (Reissue 2016). Simms alleged that since
her daughter, the mother of the children, had died, Friel had
refused to allow Simms to see her grandchildren. Simms
alleged that it would be in the best interests of Friel's
children for Simms to be granted grandparent visitation
rights. Friel denied, among other things, that it would be in
the best interests of the children to have grandparent
visitation and asked that the petition be dismissed.
an attempt to resolve the matter through mediation failed,
Simms made an oral motion for "some temporary[302 Neb.
3] visitation." Her counsel argued that temporary
visitation was warranted, because several months had passed
since the action was filed and various holidays were
approaching. The district court heard arguments ...