State of Nebraska on behalf of Walter E., a minor child, appellant,
Mark E., appellee. and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, appellee,
1. Judgments: Jurisdiction: Appeal
and Error. Determination of a juris-dictional 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.
Jurisdiction: Words and Phrases. Subject
matter jurisdiction is the power of a tribunal to hear and
determine a case in the general class or category to which
the proceedings in question belong and to deal with the
general subject matter involved.
Jurisdiction. A lack of subject matter
jurisdiction may be raised at any time by any party or by the
court sua sponte.
Jurisdiction: Child Support: Actions. As a
prerequisite for an action under Neb. Rev. Stat. §
43-512.03(1)(a) (Reissue 2016), there cannot be an existing
child support order in any jurisdiction. Hence, a court has
subject matter jurisdiction for an action under §
43-512.03(1)(a) only "when there is no existing child
support order" in Nebraska or any other jurisdiction.
from the District Court for Sarpy County: George A. Thompson,
E. Preisinger, Deputy Sarpy County Attorney, for appellant.
appearance for appellee Mark E.
Neb. 484] Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy,
Funke, Papik, and Freudenberg, JJ. Miller-Lerman, J.
State of Nebraska on behalf of Walter E. appeals the order of
the district court for Sarpy County which dismissed the
State's complaint filed against his father, Mark E., to
establish an order of support. The complaint was filed
pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-512.03 (Reissue 2016).
We conclude that because there was an existing support order,
the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under
§ 43-512.03(1)(a) to consider the State's complaint.
We therefore affirm the district court's order which
dismissed the State's complaint.
record on appeal indicates that on February 9, 2016, the
juvenile court ordered Walter to be placed in the custody of
the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
with placement at home pending an assessment for safety and
services. In an order filed February 22, the juvenile court
determined that Walter should be in the protective custody of
DHHS, because although his parents had attempted numerous
therapeutic interventions, he continued to engage in
"extremely aggressive and out-of-control behaviors as
well as self-harming behaviors." The juvenile court
ordered Walter to be placed in the temporary custody of DHHS,
pending an appropriate placement for treatment. In the
February 22 order, the juvenile court further ordered that
"[t]he costs of the child's care to the extent not
covered by the parent's insurance shall be borne by the
State of Nebraska." On March 11, the juvenile court
ordered Walter to be placed at the Boys Town psychiatric
residential treatment facility.
19, 2016, the juvenile court filed an order in which it found
Walter to be a child within the meaning of Neb. Rev. [302
Neb. 485] Stat. § 43-247(3)(a) (Supp. 2015) and ordered
him to remain in the custody of DHHS for placement at the
Boys Town main campus. The juvenile court further ordered,
inter alia, that DHHS "continue to be responsible for
all costs associated with the Order herein not covered by
insurance." The record on appeal contains two orders
filed by the juvenile court following subsequent reviews: one
order was filed February 14, 2017, and the other was filed
June 19. In both orders, the juvenile court ordered Walter to
remain in the custody of DHHS for placement at the Boys Town
12, 2017, the State, through a deputy Sarpy County Attorney,
filed a complaint in the district court on behalf of Walter
and against Walter's father, Mark. The State alleged that
the complaint was filed pursuant to § 43-512.03, which
generally authorizes the county attorney to take certain
actions in connection with child support, including filing a
complaint against a nonsupporting party when there is no
existing child or medical support order. See §
43-512.03(1)(a). The State alleged that Walter was under the
jurisdiction of the juvenile court, that he had been placed
in the custody of DHHS in an out-of-home placement, that he
was in need of financial support from Mark, and that Mark had
a duty of support for Walter. The State requested an order
from the ...