Hill v. State of Nebraska

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Hill v. State of Nebraska

Case Number
Call Date
January 6, 2017
Court Number
Case Summary

S-16-0558 and 16-0560 (consolidated appeals) Greg Hill, Brent Coffey, James Uerling, Warren Schaffert, each individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons (Appellants) v. State of Nebraska and Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, a State Agency

Furnas County, Judge James E. Doyle IV

Attorneys: Douglas J. Peterson (Attorney General) and Justin D. Lavene, Emily K. Rose, Kathleen A. Miller (Attorney General's Office) --- David A. Domina (DominaLaw Group pc llo) (Appellants)

Civil: Inverse condemnation; appropriation rights to surface water from the Republican River basin.

Proceedings below: The trial court dismissed Appellants' complaints without leave to amend finding the complaints failed to state a claim for relief. Appellants filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues: Error 1: The trial court erred when it dismissed Appellants' two Complaints. Error 2: The trial court erred when it concluded that the Appellants have no right to just compensation or damages under Neb Const. art XV, ' 6 when the DNR orders existing and captured surface water withheld despite their state-issued priority water use permits. Error 3: The trial court erred when it dismissed Appellants' First Claim and failed to recognize that a decision by the State to divert legally and physically available surface water from holders of prior appropriation rights for constitutionally inferior uses requires payment of just compensation for the Taking and damages under Neb Const. art XV, ' 6 and art I, ' 21. Error 4: The trial court erred when it dismissed the Second Claim in each case, and allowed the State to do indirectly what is forbidden to be done directly by Taking groundwater and preventing it from becoming surface water.