S-12-0974, James Dean v. State of Nebraska (Appellant)
S-12-0975, Ada Joan Taylor v. State of Nebraska (Appellant)
(Consolidated cases on appeal)
Gage County, Judge Daniel E. Bryan
Attorneys: James D. Smith (Attorney General’s Office) (Appellant) --- Herbert J. Friedman (for James Dean) --- Jeffry D. Patterson, Robert F. Bartle (Bartle & Geier) and Douglas Stratton (Stratton Delay Doele) (for Ada Joan Taylor)
Civil: Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 29-4601 to 29-4608.
Proceedings below: The district court entered judgment for damages in favor of each Appellee under the Act. Taylor was awarded $500,000 and Dean was awarded $300,000. The State filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Issues: The district court erred in its consideration and application of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4603(4) of the Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act.
Cross-Appeal: The trial court’s damages assessment is unsupported by the evidence and bears no reasonable relationship to the proper elements of damages that a court must assess when making such an award.