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Nebraska Juvenile Court May Enter Visitation Orders While Appeal Pending

The Nebraska Court of Appeals held a juvenile court had continuing jurisdiction to suspend a parents visitation privileges while an appeal challenging adjudication of the children was pending.  The court further found it lacked jurisdiction over the instant appeal because the temporary suspension of visitation privileges was not a final order.

D’Angelo E. is the father of two girls born in 2008 and 2009.  The juvenile court entered an order in November 2013 adjudicating the girls under Neb.Rev.Stat.§ 43-247(3)(a) and terminating D’Angelo’s parental rights.  D’Angelo to cooperate with therapeutic visitation and required him to submit to drug testing and cooperate with all service providers.  D’Angelo appealed that order.

While the appeal was pending, state officials moved to suspend D’Angelo’s visitation, which was granted.  D’Angelo again appealed, arguing the juvenile court did not have jurisdiction while the dispositional appeal was pending.

The Appellate Court disagreed.  It concluded that Neb.Rev.Stat. §43-295 allows lower courts to retain jurisdiction to enter visitation orders despite the pendency of an appeal in juvenile proceedings.”  It further found the visitation order was temporary, and since it was not a final order, it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal.  As such, the matter was dismissed.

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