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In re Maximus B.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

March 1, 2019

In re Interest of Maximus B., a child under 18 years of age. State of Nebraska, appellant.
v.
Maximus B., appellee.

         1. 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.

         2. Juvenile Courts: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. In a juvenile case, as in any other appeal, before reaching the legal issues presented for review, it is the duty of an appellate court to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the matter before it.

         3. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-1902 (Reissue 2016), the three types of final orders which may be reviewed on appeal are (1) an order which affects a substantial right and which determines the action and prevents a judgment, (2) an order affecting a substantial right made during a special proceeding, and (3) an order affecting a substantial right made on summary application in an action after judgment is rendered.

         4. Juvenile Courts: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. A proceeding before a juvenile court is a "special proceeding" for appellate purposes.

         5. Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Numerous factors determine when an order affects a substantial right for purposes of appeal. Broadly, these factors relate to the importance of the right and the importance of the effect on the right by the order at issue. It is not enough that the right itself be substantial; the effect of the order on that right must also be substantial.

         6. Final Orders. Whether the effect of an order is substantial depends on whether it affects with finality the rights of the parties in the subject matter.

         [302 Neb. 366] 7. Juvenile Courts: Minors. The substantial right of the State in a juvenile proceeding is derived from its parens patriae interest, and the State has a right to protect the welfare of its resident children.

          Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County: Douglas F. Johnson, Judge.

          Donald W. Kleine, Douglas County Attorney, Elizabeth McClelland, Mark P. Hanna, and Joseph Fabian, Senior Certified Law Student, for appellant.

          No appearance for appellee.

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

          MILLER-LERMAN, J.

         NATURE OF CASE

         The State of Nebraska appeals the order of the separate juvenile court of Douglas County which vacated a previous adjudication order based on acceptance of a "plea of no contest" to allegations made by the State against Maximus B. in an amended petition filed under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247 (Reissue 2016). Specifically, the juvenile court determined that a "plea of no contest" is not a permitted answer under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-279 (Reissue 2016), where the petition alleges that the child is a juvenile violator under § 43-247. We conclude that the juvenile court's order which vacated its previous order of ...


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