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State v. Barnes

Supreme Court of Nebraska

May 17, 2019

State of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
Richard C. Barnes, appellant.

         1. Judgments: Appeal and Error. When dispositive issues on appeal present questions of law, an appellate court has an obligation to reach an independent conclusion irrespective of the decision made by the court below.

         2. Criminal Law: Judgments: Sentences: Appeal and Error. In a criminal case, the judgment from which the appellant may appeal is the sentence.

         3. Judgments: Collateral Attack. When a judgment is attacked in a way other than by proceeding in the original action to have it vacated, reversed, or modified, or by a proceeding in equity to prevent its enforcement, the attack is a collateral attack.

         4. ___: ___. Absent an explicit statutory or common-law authority permitting collateral attack upon a criminal judgment under other circumstances, only a void judgment may be collaterally attacked.

         5. Sentences. A sentence outside of the period authorized for a valid crime is erroneous only; it is not a void sentence.

         6. ___. Failing to give credit for time served, while erroneous, does not render the sentence void. 7. Criminal Law: Final Orders: Sentences: Collateral Attack. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 83-1, 106(1) (Reissue 2014) does not set forth a right to collaterally attack the final judgment in a criminal case on the ground that credit for time served was not given as mandated by the statute.

          Appeal from the District Court for Pierce County: James G. Kube, Judge.

          Richard C. Barnes, pro se.

         [303 Neb. 168] Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Austin N. Relph for appellee.

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

          FREUDENBERG, J.

         NATURE OF CASE

         The defendant, who was sentenced in 1994, sought in 2018 to have his sentence amended to reflect credit for time served by filing a "Motion/Request for Jail Credit." The district court denied ...


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