Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory
interpretation presents a question of law that an appellate
court resolves independently of the trial court.
Trial: Appeal and Error. The decision of
whether to grant a motion to stay a trial is vested in the
discretion of the trial court, and its decision will not be
overturned on appeal absent an abuse of that discretion.
Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of
discretion occurs when a trial court bases its decision upon
reasons that are untenable or unreasonable or if its action
is clearly against justice or conscience, reason, and
Armed Forces: Federal Acts: Final Orders: Appeal and
Error. The denial of a stay under the Servicemembers
Civil Relief Act is a final, appealable order.
Armed Forces: Federal Acts: Intent. The
purpose of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is to suspend
enforcement of civil liabilities of persons in the military
service of the United States in order to enable such persons
to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the
Armed Forces: Federal Acts. The
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is not to be used as a sword
against persons with legitimate claims, and a court must give
equitable consideration of the rights of parties to the end
that their respective interests may be properly conserved.
Armed Forces: Federal Acts: Judgments: Appeal and
Error. An appellate court reviews whether an
application for stay met the statutory requirements of the
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act independent of the district
Neb.App. 534] 8. Courts:
Actions. Courts inherently possess the power to stay
civil proceedings when required by the interests of justice.
Actions: Proof. The burden of establishing
that a proceeding should be stayed rests on the party seeking
Trial. In deciding whether to stay a trial,
the trial court should balance the competing needs of the
parties, taking into account, among other things, the
interest of the courts, the probability that proceeding will
work a constitutional violation on the movant, the presence
or absence of hardship or inequity, and the burden of proof.
Armed Forces: Federal Acts: Appeal and
Error. It is within the discretion of the trial
court to grant a stay if the movant does not comply with the
requirements of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Child Custody: Final Orders: Appeal and
Error. A temporary order of custody is not a final,
Armed Forces: Federal Acts: Child Custody.
The grant of temporary custody must be considered separately
from a denial of stay under the Servicemembers Civil Relief
from the District Court for Lancaster County: Susan I.
Catlett, of Law Office of Matt Catlett, for appellant.
R. Little, of Ballew Hazen, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.
Riedmann, Arterburn, and Welch, Judges.
Scott Rickert appeals the temporary grant of legal and
physical custody of his minor child to the child's
mother, Melissa Ring Rickert, now known as Melissa Ring
Walker. Kregg alleges that the Lancaster County District
Court erred when it overruled his application for stay under
the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 U.S.C. §
3901 et seq. (Supp. V 2017). We affirm the order of the
and Melissa were married in Lincoln in 2010. The couple had
one child during their marriage, a son born in 2013. Both
Kregg and Melissa were members of the Armed Forces [27
Neb.App. 535] of the United States, and both were stationed
in Okinawa. Japan, in 2014. In 2015, the parties agreed to a
separation agreement, whereby Kregg received sole physical
custody of the child and the parents had joint legal custody.
The Lancaster County District Court entered a decree of
dissolution in March 2016, encapsulating the separation
2017, Melissa filed a complaint to modify the decree in which
she sought physical custody of the child because Kregg was
being relocated to Virginia and she was being relocated to
California. She amended her complaint in June 2018, stating
that both parties had been relocated as anticipated and
seeking physical custody and removal of the minor child to
California. Two days later, Melissa filed a notice to take
deposition and request for production of documents, seeking