Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,150

Revised Statutes » Chapter 25 » 25-21,150
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25-21,150. Rights of claimants; determination.

Any person interested under a deed, will, written contract or other writings constituting a contract, or whose rights, status or other legal relations are affected by a statute, municipal ordinance, contract or franchise, may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument, statute, ordinance, contract, or franchise and obtain a declaration of rights, status or other legal relations thereunder.


    Laws 1929, c. 75, § 2, p. 257;
    C.S.1929, § 20-21,141;
    R.S.1943, § 25-21,150.


1. Scope

2. Miscellaneous

1. Scope

A declaratory judgment action is the proper judicial proceeding to determine a party's rights and obligations under a particular statute. Ameritas Life Ins. Corp. v. Balka, 257 Neb. 878, 601 N.W.2d 508 (1999).

Preliminary correspondence and unsigned insurance policy form did not constitute a contract within the meaning of this section. Omaha Pub. Power Dist. v. Nuclear Elec. Ins. Ltd., 229 Neb. 740, 428 N.W.2d 895 (1988).

Declaratory judgment proceeding permissible to determine rights and benefits under Fireman's Pension Act. Hooper v. City of Lincoln, 183 Neb. 591, 163 N.W.2d 117 (1968).

This section authorizes courts of record to construe wills. Father Flanagan's Boys' Home v. Graybill, 178 Neb. 79, 132 N.W.2d 304 (1964).

Action to construe a deed to city was properly brought under Declaratory Judgments Act. City of Gering v. Jones, 175 Neb. 626, 122 N.W.2d 503 (1963).

Separation agreement between husband and wife was within terms of Declaratory Judgments Act. Dorland v. Dorland, 175 Neb. 233, 121 N.W.2d 28 (1963).

Tax-exempt status of property was properly determined in declaratory judgment proceeding. County of Douglas v. OEA Senior Citizens, Inc., 172 Neb. 696, 111 N.W.2d 719 (1961).

An insurance contract comes within the purview of the act. Gottula v. Standard Reliance Ins. Co., 165 Neb. 1, 84 N.W.2d 179 (1957).

Action seeking the construction of a will is authorized. Phillips v. Phillips, 163 Neb. 282, 79 N.W.2d 420 (1956).

Unincorporated trade association could not maintain action on behalf of members whose rights were affected. Nebraska Seedsmen Assn. v. Department of Agriculture & Inspection, 162 Neb. 781, 77 N.W.2d 464 (1956).

Individual plaintiff must have a legally protectible interest or right. Schroder v. City of Lincoln, 155 Neb. 599, 52 N.W.2d 808 (1952).

Question of coverage under policy of insurance was properly determinable. Hawkeye Casualty Co. v. Stoker, 154 Neb. 466, 48 N.W.2d 623 (1951).

Declaratory judgment action will lie to determine rights over the disposition of public funds of a city operating under a home rule charter. Noble v. City of Lincoln, 153 Neb. 79, 43 N.W.2d 572 (1950).

Proceedings for a declaratory judgment extend to the validity of a statute where there is a justiciable, determinable controversy between parties in respect to rights thereunder. Nebraska Mid-State Reclamation Dist. v. Hall County, 152 Neb. 410, 41 N.W.2d 397 (1950).

Declaratory judgment proceeding may properly be brought to test validity of city ordinance. Webber v. City of Scottsbluff, 141 Neb. 363, 3 N.W.2d 635 (1942).

Validity of tax on air-flight equipment could be challenged in declaratory judgment proceeding. Mid-Continent Airlines v. Nebraska State Board of Equalization and Assessment, 105 F.Supp. 188 (D. Neb. 1952).

2. Miscellaneous

A plaintiff in a declaratory judgment action challenging the validity of a statute must prove that the plaintiff is a person whose rights, status, or other legal relations are affected by the challenged statute. Mullendore v. Nuernberger, 230 Neb. 921, 434 N.W.2d 511 (1989).

To obtain declaratory relief, a plaintiff has the burden to prove the existence of a justiciable controversy and an interest in the subject matter of the action. Mullendore v. Nuernberger, 230 Neb. 921, 434 N.W.2d 511 (1989).

Plaintiffs are not required to violate a penal statute as a condition of having it construed or its validity determined, but may seek declaratory judgment. Dill v. Hamilton, 137 Neb. 723, 291 N.W. 62 (1940).

Word "person" includes the State of Nebraska and its executive departments. State ex rel. Smrha v. General American Life Ins. Co., 132 Neb. 520, 272 N.W. 555 (1937).

Court may refuse to render declaratory judgment where it would not terminate the uncertainty or controversy giving rise to the proceeding. In re Reynolds Estate, 131 Neb. 557, 268 N.W. 480 (1936); Smithberger v. Banning, 130 Neb. 354, 265 N.W. 10 (1936).