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In re Robert W.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

March 12, 2019

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

         1. Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews juvenile cases de novo on the record and reaches a conclusion independently of the juvenile court's findings.

         2. Appeal and Error. An appellate court is not obligated to engage in an analysis that is not necessary to adjudicate the case and controversy before it.

         3. Jurisdiction. An actual case or controversy is necessary for the exercise of judicial power.

         4. Moot Question: Words and Phrases. A case becomes moot when the issues initially presented in the litigation cease to exist, when the litigants lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome of litigation, or when the litigants seek to determine a question which does not rest upon existing facts or rights, in which the issues presented are no longer alive.

         5. Courts: Judgments. In the absence of an actual case or controversy requiring judicial resolution, it is not the function of the courts to render a judgment that is merely advisory.

         6. Moot Question. As a general rule, a moot case is subject to summary dismissal.

         7. Moot Question: Appeal and Error. Under certain circumstances, an appellate court may entertain the issues presented by a moot case when the claims presented involve a matter of great public interest or when other rights or liabilities may be affected by the case's determination.

         8. Moot Question: Words and Phrases. In determining whether the public interest exception should be invoked, the court considers the public or private nature of the question presented, the desirability of an [27 Neb.App. 12] authoritative adjudication for future guidance of public officials, and the likelihood of future recurrence of the same or a similar problem.

         9. Minors: Proof. The exhaustion requirement of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-251.01(7)(a) (Reissue 2016) demands evidence establishing that no other community-based resources have a reasonable possibility for success or that all options for community-based services have been thoroughly considered and none are feasible.

          Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Lancaster County: Toni G. Thorson, Judge. Affirmed.

          Joe Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender, and James G. Sieben for appellant.

          Patrick F. Condon, Lancaster County Attorney, and Julie Mruz for appellee.

          Pirtle, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges.

          PIRTLE, JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Robert W. appeals from two orders of the separate juvenile court of Lancaster County finding that all community-based resources to assist him and his family in keeping Robert in the family home had been exhausted and ordering him placed outside of the home. Based on the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         On November 6, 2017, a petition to adjudicate Robert was filed, alleging that he had committed two felony offenses: terroristic threats and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. The charges stemmed from an incident in which Robert pointed a handgun at the back of another juvenile's head. An order for immediate custody was attached to the petition. A supplemental petition was filed on November 9, alleging three additional misdemeanor charges. On November 17, Robert entered a no contest plea to the use of the deadly weapon to commit a felony offense and he was adjudicated under Neb. [27 Neb.App. 13] Rev. Stat. § 43-247(2) (Reissue 2016). The remaining charges were dismissed.

         Following his adjudication, the court ordered him to be "detained at the Lancaster County Juvenile Detention Center [and to] cooperate with a co-occurring evaluation" with psychological testing. Dr. Leland Zlomke, a licensed psychologist, conducted an ...


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