Judgments: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error.
When a jurisdictional question does not involve a factual
dispute, determination of a jurisdictional issue is a matter
of law which requires an appellate court to reach a
conclusion independent from the trial court's.
Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. When a lower
court lacks the authority to exercise its subject matter
jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of the claim, issue, or
question, an appellate court also lacks the power to
determine the merits of the claim, issue, or question
presented to the lower court.
Administrative Law: Final Orders: Appeal and
Error. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, any
person aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case,
whether such decision is affirmative or negative in form,
shall be entitled to judicial review.
Administrative Law: Words and Phrases. For
purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act, a contested
case is defined as a proceeding before an agency in which the
legal rights, duties, or privileges of specific parties are
required by law or constitutional right to be determined
after an agency hearing.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: Kevin R.
McManaman, Judge. Appeal dismissed.
W. Jorgensen, of Nye, Hervert, Jorgensen & Watson. PC,
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and James D. Smith,
Solicitor General, for appellees.
Neb.App. 277] Pirtle, Arterburn, and Welch, Judges.
Field Farms, Inc. (Charity Field), requested that the Board
of Educational Lands and Funds refer a dispute over a land
survey which had arisen between Charity Field and a
neighboring land owner, Trampe Bros., L.L.C., to
Nebraska's State Surveyor for an evidentiary hearing and
settlement. At the time of Charity Field's request, it
was involved in litigation with Trampe Bros, regarding a
property line dispute and an associated land survey. After a
regular meeting of the board, it declined to refer the
dispute to the State Surveyor. Charity Field sought judicial
review of the board's decision. The Lancaster County
District Court concluded it lacked subject matter
jurisdiction because the board's decision "was not a
final order in a contested case." See Neb. Rev. Stat.
§ 84-917(1) (Reissue 2014). The court dismissed Charity
Field's purported appeal from the board's decision,
and now Charity Field appeals to this court. Upon our review,
we determine that the district court did not have
jurisdiction and that as such, we also lack jurisdiction.
Therefore, the appeal is dismissed.
we recite the factual circumstances surrounding this appeal,
we note some concerns regarding the record before us. In
particular, we note that our "record" of the
proceedings held before the board was created by Charity
Field, and not the board, which was the agency presiding over
the proceedings. This "record" is found in the
transcript as an attachment to the "Appeal" that
was filed in the Lancaster County District Court. Charity
Field has provided some indication that the board refused to
make or provide an official record regarding what transpired
at the pertinent board meeting. Ultimately, we need not
decide whether the record before us is proper, because even
if we consider the record created and provided [27 Neb.App.
278] by Charity Field, we conclude that we do not have
jurisdiction to consider the merits of Charity Field's
assertions. Accordingly, we simply note that our recitation
of the factual circumstances underlying this appeal are taken
from an "unofficial" record created by Charity
January 5, 2017, counsel for Charity Field sent two letters
to the office of the State Surveyor. In one of the letters,
counsel describes the ongoing litigation between Charity
Field and Trampe Bros, and indicates that Charity Field is
requesting that the State Surveyor resolve a dispute
regarding a ...