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Charles Sargent Irrigation, Inc. v. Pohlmeier

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

May 14, 2019

Charles Sargent Irrigation, Inc., doing business as Sargent Drilling, appellee,
v.
Mary Martha Pohlmeier, appellant.

         1. Motions to Vacate: Time. The decision to vacate an order at any time during the term in which the judgment is rendered is within the discretion of the court; such a decision will be reversed only if it is shown that the district court abused its discretion.

         2. Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court's decision is based upon reasons that are untenable or unreasonable or if its action is clearly against justice or conscience, reason, and evidence.

         3. Rules of the Supreme Court: Pretrial Procedure: Appeal and Error. The determination of an appropriate discovery sanction rests within the discretion of the trial court, and an appellate court will not disturb it absent an abuse of discretion.

         4. Motions to Vacate: Time. In a civil case, a court has inherent power to vacate or modify its own judgments at any time during the term at which those judgments are pronounced, and such power exists entirely independent of any statute.

         5. Courts: Time. Unless otherwise provided by order of the district court, a term of court begins on January 1 of a given year and ends on December 31 of that same year.

         6. Judgments: Judicial Sales: Appeal and Error. An order overruling a motion to deny confirmation of a judicial sale and to set the sale aside is not a final or reviewable order.

         7. Courts. Nebraska's courts, through their inherent judicial power, have the authority to do all things necessary for the proper administration of justice.

         8. Pretrial Procedure. The main purpose of the discovery process is to narrow the factual issues in controversy so that the trial is efficient and economical.

          [27 Neb.App. 230] 9.____ . The discovery process helps the litigants conduct an informed cross-examination and avoid tactical surprise, a circumstance which might lead to a result based more on legal maneuvering than on the merits of the case.

         10. Rules of the Supreme Court: Pretrial Procedure. The court may sanction a party under Neb. Ct. R. Disc. § 6-337, despite the absence of a prior discovery order.

         11. Courts: Evidence. A trial court's exclusion of evidence may be sustained as an exercise of a trial court's inherent powers.

         12. Appeal and Error. An appellate court will not consider an issue that was not presented to or passed upon by the trial court, because a trial court cannot commit error in resolving an issue never presented and submitted to it for disposition.

          Appeal from the District Court for Fillmore County: Vicky L. Johnson, Judge. Affirmed.

          Travis Penn, of Penn Law Firm, L.L.C., for appellant.

          Charles W. Campbell, of Angle, Murphy & Campbell, PC, L.L.O., for appellee.

          Moore, Chief Judge, and Riedmann and Bishop, Judges.

          RIEDMANN, JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         As a discovery sanction, the district court for Fillmore County entered a default judgment against Mary Martha Pohlmeier and in favor of Charles Sargent Irrigation, Inc., doing business as Sargent Drilling (Charles Sargent). The court included prejudgment interest in the damages awarded, and after Pohlmeier's land was sold to satisfy the judgment, the court denied Pohlmeier's objection to the confirmation of the sale. We affirm the ...


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