Judgments: Jurisdiction. A jurisdictional
issue that does not involve a factual dispute presents a
question of law.
Courts: Jurisdiction. Under the doctrine of
jurisdictional priority, when different state courts have
concurrent original jurisdiction over the same subject
matter, basic principles of judicial administration require
that the first court to acquire jurisdiction should retain it
to the exclusion of another court.
Jurisdiction. The rule of jurisdictional
priority does not apply unless there are two cases pending at
the same time.
Jurisdiction: Dismissal and Nonsuit. The
doctrine of jurisdictional priority does not apply if the
first action terminates, is resolved, or is disposed of
before the second action commences.
Jurisdiction. Two pending cases fall under
the doctrine of jurisdictional priority only when they
involve the same "whole issue." In other words, the
two actions must be materially the same, involving the
substantially same subject matter and the same parties.
Constitutional Law: Courts: Jurisdiction.
Because a district court's general jurisdiction emanates
from the Nebraska Constitution, it cannot be legislatively
limited or controlled.
Decedents' Estates: Actions: Equity: Courts:
Jurisdiction. The county courts have concurrent
original jurisdiction with the district courts in common-law
and equity actions relating to decedents' estates.
Decedents' Estates: Wills: Declaratory Judgments:
Courts. The district court has the power in a
declaratory judgment action to [302 Neb. 316] construe a will
and make a determination of interests of beneficiaries in the
Wills: Courts. The county court has the
limited power to construe a will for the benefit of the
executor in carrying out the terms of the will.
Courts: Jurisdiction. County courts can
acquire jurisdiction only through legislative enactment.
Decedents' Estates: Wills:
Courts: Jurisdiction. A county court has complete
equity powers as to all matters within its probate
jurisdiction. This includes the authority to construe a will
when necessary to enable the settlement of an estate
Courts: Jurisdiction. While jurisdictional
priority is not a matter of subject matter or personal
jurisdiction, courts should enforce the jurisdictional
priority doctrine to promote judicial comity and avoid the
confusion and delay of justice that would result if courts
issued conflicting decisions in the same controversy.
Actions: Courts: Jurisdiction: Public
Policy. The rule of jurisdictional priority is based
on the public policies of avoiding conflicts between courts
and preventing vexatious litigation and a multiplicity of
Courts: Jurisdiction. When a subsequent
court decides a case already pending in another court with
concurrent subject matter jurisdiction, it errs in the
exercise of its jurisdiction.
from the District Court for Douglas County: Leigh Ann
Retelsdorf, Judge. Reversed and remanded with directions.
Watson and Jeffrey A. Wagner, of Schirber & Wagner,
L.L.R, for appellant.
D. Thornton, of Smith Peterson Law Firm, L.L.R, for
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, Papik,
and Freudenberg, JJ.
daughter of a testator sought a declaration of her rights
under her father's will as an alleged devisee, claiming
to be entitled to one-half of the residual share of her
father's [302 Neb. 317] testamentary estate under a
residuary clause in the decedent's will. The estate
asserted that the decedent unambiguously disinherited the
daughter by excluding her name in the definition of
'"children"' or "'issue,
'" while expressly including the decedent's
younger son's name and "all children of mine born or
adopted after the execution hereof." After both parties
moved for summary judgment, the district court found that the
terms of the will were clear and unambiguous and that the
daughter was expressly disinherited by the will's
provisions. Based on these findings, the court granted the
estate's motion for summary judgment. The daughter
testator, Michael R. Brinkman, died on December 23, 2016,
leaving two known children, Nicole Brinkman and Seth Michael
Brinkman. The testator's will was admitted for probate,
naming Kimberly Millus as personal representative. Millus is