Abbott v. City of Bellevue, Nebraska

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Abbott v. City of Bellevue, Nebraska

Case Number
Call Date
September 1, 2021
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Case Location
Court Type
District Court
Case Summary

S-20-0700 Christopher Abbott et al. (Appellants) v. City of Bellevue, Nebraska et al.

Sarpy County District Court, Hon. Michael A. Smith

Attorneys: Thomas P. McCarty (Keating, O’Gara, Nedved & Peter, PC, LLO, for Appellants); Bree Robbins (Bellevue City Attorney, for Appellee)

Civil: Police Officers Retirement Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 16-1001 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Proceedings Below: On June 30, 2020, the district court entered its order and held that there was a substantial impairment to the settlement agreement and a breach of that agreement. The court further noted that Appellants cannot suffer damages until such time as one of them has qualified for and chooses one of the retirement options. The district court dismissed the claims as to several Appellants who left employment and took their defined contribution under the Retirement Act, not having been qualified for the defined benefit under the agreement. The district court adopted the calculation as presented by the City to account for all contributions and "excess contributions". The district court dismissed all remaining claims. Appellants filed a motion to alter or amend on July 9, 2020 as well as a motion for attorney fees. The district court entered an amended order on September 3, 2020, which amended minor items as stipulated to by Appellee at the hearing, and then denied Appellants’ requests for attorney fees and other requested relief.

Issues on Appeal: Whether the district court erred 1) when it adopted the City’s “suggested” formulas, which result in a reduction of Appellants’ defined and, in certain instances, a reduction of Appellants’ benefits below the minimum benefits required under the Retirement Act; 2) in finding the Pension Contract contemplates the City retaining Appellants’ retirement accounts upon retirement; 3) in disregarding the City’s uniform practice of distributing retirement accounts to employees upon receiving defined benefits under the Pension Contract; 4) in treating statements of counsel as evidence and disregarding the undisputed evidence in the record; 5) in permitting the City to provide Appellants’ retirement benefits below the minimum benefits required under the Retirement Act; 6) in denying Appellants’ request for attorney fees and expenses under 42 U.S.C. § 1988; 7) in finding Appellants are not “prevailing parties” under 42 U.S.C. § 1988; 8) in dismissing Appellants’ takings claims under the U.S. and Nebraska Constitutions; 9) to the extent it dismissed Appellant’s claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and 10) in issuing an order granting declaratory and injunctive relief that his unclear and contradictory.

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