In a letter to the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners dated May 19, , the Juvenile Court Judges informed the Board that they no longer wished to use the contracts to provide legal services in the Separate Juvenile Court of Lancaster County and asked the Board to let the contracts expire as they came to the end of a term. As a result of the judges' action, two contractors gave notice terminating their contracts during , and two other contracts were allowed to expire without renewal. Replacing Matt was former law clerk, Valerie McHargue. Pictured here at the awards luncheon are left to right Dr. At the annual meeting and luncheon of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association in November of , Dennis Keefe was presented with the Don Fiedler Lifetime Achievement Award named after a long time member and criminal defense attorney from Omaha.
Riley public defender nebraska state's sovereign nebtaska extends to public officials sued in their official capacities, as "[a] suit against a public employee in his or her official capacity is merely a suit against the public employer. Section pertains to transfers of prisoners to or from foreign countries, and has no application here. Hansen and Steenbock are working to find peace with the father who left them as children and who died from organ failure related to alcohol abuse in He began his career representing clients before the Board of Mental Health and in City Misdemeanor cases. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, has since appealed those sentences to Riley public defender nebraska Nebraska Court deefender Appeals. Plaintiff was represented at the resentencing hearing by McClung. Key Phrases are not available yet. Elliott, and two professors from UNAM. Additionally, the professors were taught various critiquing methods and techniques to aid them when giving feedback to their Free girls sucking performing such tasks. These were people I could understand Waacol bras talk to.
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Plaintiff, Allen Jennings, Sr. The initial partial filing fee was paid on June 14, The court now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U. Plaintiff brings this 42 U. Seven claims are listed in the Complaint:. Liss "Liss" , for failure to comply with Neb. The prosecuting attorney [who has filed a notice of intent to take an appeal from county court to district court] shall then file the notice in the district court within thirty days from the date of final order and within thirty days from the date of filing the notice shall file a bill of exceptions covering the part of the record referred to in the notice.
Plaintiff alleges that a bill of exceptions was not filed until 46 days from the date of filing of the notice. Filing 1, p. From a review of the record in Plaintiff's criminal case, see infra , it appears Plaintiff is referring to the fact that a notice of appeal from the District Court to the Nebraska Court of Appeals was filed by Plaintiff on January 5, , and that the Clerk of the District Court filed notice in the Court of Appeals on February 21, , stating that the bill of exceptions had been filed in the District Court on February 16, All sentences for maximum terms of imprisonment of less than one year shall be served in the county jail.
A due process claim based the fact that although a mandate from the Court of Appeals vacating Plaintiff's sentence and remanding for resentencing was issued on September 27, , Plaintiff's resentencing was not scheduled to take place in the District Court until April 24, A claimed violation of 18 U.
Section pertains to transfers of prisoners to or from foreign countries, and has no application here. A due process claim against Frakes because "[t]he last seven months Plaintiff has been incarcerated without legal representation and without a sentence in NDCS.
A due process claim based on the fact that "Plaintiff [has been] held without bond or sentence since September 29, [when the mandate vacating Plaintiff's sentence was received by the District Court]. The court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U. The court must dismiss a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to "nudge their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible," or "their complaint must be dismissed.
Twombly , U. Iqbal , U. Saunders , F. However, "[a] pro se complaint must be liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties.
Atkins , U. For the reasons discussed below, the court finds and concludes that Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and that certain Defendants are immune from suit. The court also concludes that amendment would be futile, and, consequently, that the action should be dismissed.
As part of its initial review, and in order to obtain a better understanding of Plaintiff's claims, the court will take judicial notice of the trial court record in State v. CR , and the appellate court record in State v.
Jennings , Nebraska Court of Appeals, No. A The court will also take judicial notice of a habeas action, which is referenced in the Complaint, that was initiated by Plaintiff on March 27, , and remains pending, Jennings v. CI See Stutzka v. McCarville , F. Basically, the record shows Plaintiff pled guilty to attempted burglary, a Class III felony, and to operating a motor vehicle during a revocation period, a Class IV felony, and, on December 13, , was sentenced to be imprisoned in an institution under the jurisdiction of NDCS "for a period of 3 to 3 years" on the first count and "2 to 2 years" on the second count, to run consecutively.
Artis , N. Because both crimes of which Plaintiff stood convicted require a determinate sentence to be imposed, see Neb.
The Court of Appeals' mandate was issued on September 27, , and was received by the District Court two days later. The next docket entry in the criminal case is dated April 11, , and is a pro se Notice of Hearing filed by Plaintiff, giving notice that his resentencing hearing was scheduled for April 24, The hearing did, in fact, take place on that date, and Plaintiff was sentenced to a 3-year term of imprisonment on the attempted burglary charge, and to a 2-year term of imprisonment on the charge of driving during revocation.
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, has since appealed those sentences to the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Plaintiff was represented on appeal by Riley and LeAnne M.
Srb, an Assistant Public Defender. Peterson and Liss appeared for the State. See State v. Jennings , No. A, WL Neb. Plaintiff was represented at the resentencing hearing by McClung.
The Eleventh Amendment bars claims for damages by private parties against a state. See , e. Hibbing Cmty. Arkansas State Univ. A state's sovereign immunity extends to public officials sued in their official capacities, as "[a] suit against a public employee in his or her official capacity is merely a suit against the public employer.
Outboard Marine Corp. Because the complaint does not "expressly and unambiguously" state that Peterson, Liss, and Frakes are sued personally, the court must assume that they are sued only in their official capacities as Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, and Director of NDCS.
See id. Even if Peterson and Liss were named as defendants in their individual capacities, they are absolutely immune from suit for damages with respect to any alleged misconduct in connection with Plaintiff's criminal case.
See Trobaugh v. Kelly , F. Fitzsimmons , U. While Frakes would not be immune from suit in his individual capacity for any alleged misconduct in connection with Plaintiff's confinement at a NDCS facility, the facts alleged in the Complaint are not sufficient to establish a due process violation.
Plaintiff's contention that he should have been released on bail or detained in county jail pending resentencing does not rise to the level of a constitutional claim. See Betterman v. Montana , S.
Because postconviction incarceration is considered punishment for the offense, however, a defendant will ordinarily earn time-served credit for any period of presentencing detention. That such detention may occur in a local jail rather than a prison is of no constitutional moment, for a convicted defendant has no right to serve his sentence in the penal institution he prefers.
In Payano v. Potter , No. App'x 7th Cir. The Wisconsin Supreme Court subsequently reversed the decision of the court of appeals and reinstated the plaintiff's convictions, but he sought to recover damages for the intervening month period of confinement. The federal district court determined on initial review that the plaintiff's complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted because the plaintiff "did not have a right under the constitution to be held in a county jail.
Rather, as a pretrial detainee, the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause prohibited the government from punishing plaintiff, but did not prohibit it from confining him in a penal institution.
Wolfish , U. The court stated: "Although state law may create liberty interests that trigger the due process protections of the Fourteenth Amendment, Wolff v. McDonnell , U. Such a claim is not a constitutional claim; it is a state law claim. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint by finding that the lawsuit was precluded by Heck v. Humphrey , U. App'x at The Seventh Circuit rejected the plaintiff's argument that he temporarily ceased to be a convicted prisoner between his appellate victory and the Wisconsin Supreme Court's reversal of it, stating that "[a] prisoner whose conviction has been reversed and remanded for retrial does not become a pretrial detainee before the reversing court's mandate has issued.
Logli , F. In the present case, Plaintiff cannot claim to be a pretrial detainee because only his sentences were vacated. The Supreme Court in Bell defined pretrial detainees as "those persons who have been charged with a crime but who have not yet been tried on the charge. Because Plaintiff remained a convicted felon even after the Nebraska Court of Appeals vacated his sentences and issued its mandate, no due process liberty interest is implicated.
Crane , F. Plaintiff's claims against Frakes are also Heck -barred. Although Plaintiff's original, indeterminate sentences were vacated by the Nebraska Court of Appeals, he has now been resentenced and given credit for time served on the original sentences plus prior jail time.
Because Plaintiff does not clearly indicate that Riley and McClung are sued in their individual capacities, the court must construe the Complaint as alleging only official-capacity claims against the Douglas County Public Defender and Assistant Public Defendant. In effect, therefore, Plaintiff is suing Douglas County.
Monell v. Department of Social Services , U. An official policy involves a deliberate choice to follow a course of action made from among various alternatives by an official who has the final authority to establish governmental policy.
Jane Doe A v. Special School Dist. City of Cincinnati , U. To establish the existence of a governmental custom, a plaintiff must prove:. Jane Doe A , F. Plaintiff's allegations do not establish the existence of an official policy or custom for which Douglas County may be held liable.
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In a letter to the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners dated May 19, , the Juvenile Court Judges informed the Board that they no longer wished to use the contracts to provide legal services in the Separate Juvenile Court of Lancaster County and asked the Board to let the contracts expire as they came to the end of a term.
As a result of the judges' action, two contractors gave notice terminating their contracts during , and two other contracts were allowed to expire without renewal. Replacing Matt was former law clerk, Valerie McHargue. Pictured here at the awards luncheon are left to right Dr. At the annual meeting and luncheon of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association in November of , Dennis Keefe was presented with the Don Fiedler Lifetime Achievement Award named after a long time member and criminal defense attorney from Omaha.
She actually served 2 terms as a deputy public defender in the Lancaster County Public Defender's Office. In her last year with the office, Dorothy represented clients before the Board of Mental Health and in Child Support and Paternity cases. Two new attorneys joined the office in Yohance Christie, a native of Lincoln, joined the office on January 26, after having passed the Texas Bar Exam and motioning in to the Nebraska Bar.
Yohance, a former law clerk with our office, began as an attorney in the juvenile division representing youth in law violation and status cases. Todd is also a native of Lincoln. He began his career representing clients before the Board of Mental Health and in City Misdemeanor cases. He also assumed responsibility for the review cases where the client had been found not responsible by reason of insanity.
In February of , Dennis Keefe was invited by U. The Symposium was held in Washington D. The Attorney General himself addressed the group about his concern over the national indigent defense crisis. In addition, this latter grant provides funding for out-of-state training for a number of criminal defense attorneys to learn immigration law. In May of , a record number of employees in the office were honored for their years of service to Lancaster County at the annual employee recognition breakfast.
Dennis R. Keefe was sworn in to office for his 8th consecutive term as Lancaster County Public Defender in January of and shortly thereafter, the office celebrated its 40th anniversary. Keefe is the only current employee of the office that was also employed as an original member of the office in its first year The partnership was formed to help prepare UNAM faculty, students and the local bench and bar to meet the challenges they may encounter during the implementation of the new adversarial criminal justice system in Mexico.
Elliott traveled with her team to Mexico City where they provided training to their Mexican counterparts. The students of the training consisted primarily of UNAM professors who teach criminal law.
During the 5 day "working seminar", they received instruction in the oral adversarial process, including conducting opening statements, questioning witnesses - by both direct and cross examination - and making closing arguments. Additionally, the professors were taught various critiquing methods and techniques to aid them when giving feedback to their students performing such tasks.
During the practical application portions of the workshop, each professor performed each segment of an oral trial in mock courtrooms and received both an in-courtroom and video-tape performance critique by members of the teaching team. Each professor also conducted two feedback exercises whereby they observed a performance and gave a relevant, appropriate critique.
The teaching team for the workshop consisted of two experienced criminal attorneys representing UNL, including Ms. Elliott, and two professors from UNAM. The workshop held at UNAM was one of several trial advocacy training courses to be conducted during the three year life of the partnership.
The office also benefitted throughout the year from two different grants that originated with the U. Over attorneys were provided with the training in state and the grant also provided funds to send 4 county public defenders to national immigration training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition, the grant provided a number of county public defender offices with Professor Ruser's Manual on Immigration Law for criminal defense attorneys.
The other grant provided the office with funds to upgrade the office's case management system, allowed us to purchase 7 additional mini laptop computers for attorneys to take to court and update their case files, as well as the ability to send all of the attorneys in the office to national premier training programs for criminal defense attorneys. The budget process was a difficult one in The County was confronted with a decrease in state aid to counties and a significant demand from county corrections for additional funding for operational costs related to the new jail.
As the County Commissioners were looking at all options, they asked the Lancaster County Public Defender's Office to lead a study of the costs of the entire indigent defense system.
He has played an important role over the past 50 years in the development of national standards for indigent defense as well as writing regarding ethical obligations of public defenders and public defender managers regarding caseloads. In the book, he cites favorably the Lancaster County Public Defender's Office's history of attorney time tracking as a worthwhile activity for public defender offices in their quest to find manageable caseloads. Search Area: Full Top Level. Search Type: Keyword Title Content.
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