Judgments: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error.
Determination of a jurisdictional issue which does not
involve a factual dispute is a matter of law which requires
an appellate court to reach its conclusions independent from
a trial court.
Motions to Dismiss: Pleadings: Appeal and Error. An
appellate court reviews a district court's order granting
a motion to dismiss 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, it is the duty of an
appellate court to determine whether it has jurisdiction over
Declaratory Judgments. An action for a declaratory
judgment will not lie where another equally serviceable
remedy is available.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: John A.
Colborn, Judge. Affirmed.
William Stull, of American Civil Liberties Union Foundation,
Amy A. Miller, of American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska
Foundation, Christopher L. Eickholt, of Eickholt Law, L.L.C.,
and Brett J. Williamson, Luann Simmons, and Bill Trac, of
O'Melveny & Myers, L.L.P., for appellants.
Neb. 139] Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Ryan S.
Post for appellees John Peter Ricketts et al.
Bartholomew L. McLeay, of Kutak Rock, L.L.P, for appellee
John Peter Ricketts in his individual capacity.
Spray and Christina L. Usher, of Mattson Ricketts Law Firm,
and Ryan K. McIntosh, of Brandt, Horan, Hallstrom &
Sedlacek, for appellees Don Stenberg et al.
Hightower-Henne, of Hightower Reff Law, and Kevin Barry, of
Quinnipiac University School of Law Legal Clinic, for amici
curiae Legal Scholars.
Heavican, C.J., Cassel, Stacy, Funke, and Papik, JJ., and
Pirtle and Riedmann, Judges.
are eight death row inmates. The inmates filed suit seeking a
declaratory judgment that 2015 Neb. Laws, L.B. 268, which
abolished the death penalty in Nebraska, was not repealed by
referendum. The inmates further sought injunctive relief
preventing the Department of Correctional Services and its
director, Scott R. Frakes, from carrying out executions or
steps toward execution against any plaintiffs or
indispensable parties. The Lancaster County District Court
dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The
inmates appeal. We affirm the district court's dismissal.
in this case are Jose Sandoval, Roy L. Ellis, Jorge Galindo,
Nikko Jenkins, John L. Lotter, Raymond Mata, Marco E. Torres,
and Eric F. Vela (the inmates). Indispensable parties are
Arthur L. Gales, Jeffrey Hessler, and Carey Dean Moore. The
inmates and indispensable parties were all convicted of first