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Abay, L.L.C. v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission

Supreme Court of Nebraska

May 24, 2019

Abay, L.L.C., appellant,
v.
Nebraska Liquor Control Commission et al., appellees.

         1. Administrative Law: Judgments: Appeal and Error. A judgment or final order rendered by a district court in a judicial review pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act may be reversed, vacated, or modified by an appellate court for errors appearing on the record.

         2. ___:___: ___. When reviewing an order of a district court under the Administrative Procedure Act for errors appearing on the record, the inquiry is whether the decision conforms to the law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.

         3. Judgments: Appeal and Error. An appellate court, in reviewing a district court's judgment for errors appearing on the record, will not substitute its factual findings for those of the district court where competent evidence supports those findings.

         4. Administrative Law: Judgments. Whether an agency decision conforms to the law is by definition a question of law.

         5. Administrative Law: Judgments: Statutes: Appeal and Error. To the extent that the meaning and interpretation of statutes and regulations are involved, questions of law are presented which an appellate court decides independently of the decision made by the court below.

         6. Administrative Law: Liquor Licenses: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. Proceedings in the district court reviewing a final decision of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission involve review without a jury de novo on the agency record.

         7. Administrative Law: Appeal and Error. In a review de novo on the record, the district court is required to make independent factual determinations based upon the record and reach its own independent conclusions with respect to the matters at issue.

         [303 Neb. 215] 8. Administrative Law: Liquor Licenses: Courts: Evidence: Appeal and Error. A district court in its de novo review is not required to give deference to the findings of fact made by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, but it may consider the fact that the commission, sitting as the trier of fact, saw and heard the witnesses and observed their demeanor while testifying and may give weight to the commission's judgment as to credibility.

         9. Alcoholic Liquors: Liquor Licenses: States. The power of the State to absolutely prohibit the manufacture, sale, transportation, or possession of intoxicants includes the power to prescribe the conditions under which alcoholic beverages may be sold, and it may exercise large discretion as to the means employed in performing this power.

         10. Courts: Statutes. A statutorily created court has only such authority as has been conferred upon it by statute. Thus, its powers are limited to those delineated by statute.

         11. Administrative Law: Statutes. Administrative bodies have only that authority specifically conferred upon them by statute or by construction necessary to achieve the purpose of the relevant act.

         12. Administrative Law: Liquor Licenses. The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission may impose conditions on a liquor license.

          Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: Darla S. Ideus, Judge.

          Michael F. Polk, of Sena, Polk & Stacy, L.L.P, for appellant.

          William Acosta-Trejo, Assistant Omaha City Attorney, for ...


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