Nebraska Revised Statute 76-720

Chapter 76 Section 720

76-720.

Appeal; fees and costs; payment.

If an appeal is taken from the award of the appraisers by the condemnee and the amount of the final judgment is greater by fifteen percent than the amount of the award, or if appeal is taken by the condemner and the amount of the final judgment is not less than eighty-five percent of the award, or if appeal is taken by both parties and the final judgment is greater in any amount than the award, the court may in its discretion award to the condemnee a reasonable sum for the fees of his or her attorney and for fees necessarily incurred for not more than two expert witnesses. On any appeal by the condemner, the condemner shall pay all court costs on appeal. If appeal is taken by the condemnee only and the final judgment is not equal to or greater than the award of the appraisers, the court may in its discretion award to the condemner the court costs incurred by the condemner, but not attorney or expert witness fees.

If an appeal is taken to the district court and the district court finds that the condemner did not negotiate in good faith with the property owner or there was no public purpose for taking the property involved, the court shall award to the condemnee a reasonable sum for the fees of his or her attorney and the condemner shall pay all court costs on appeal.

The changes made to this section by Laws 1995, LB 222, apply to any action pending on March 30, 1995, or filed on or after such date.

Source

  • Laws 1951, c. 101, § 20, p. 457;
  • Laws 1963, c. 432, § 2, p. 1449;
  • Laws 1980, LB 680, § 1;
  • Laws 1995, LB 222, § 2.

Annotations

  • 1. Costs on appeal

  • 2. Fees

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Costs on appeal

  • Appellees awarded attorney fees incurred on appeal to the Supreme Court. City of Hastings v. Peter Ellis Farms, 216 Neb. 550, 344 N.W.2d 640 (1984).

  • On appeal by new lessee for valuation of improvements on school lands, all costs on appeal are taxable to new lessee. Holiday Mobil Homes Resorts, Inc. v. Frosh, 180 Neb. 174, 141 N.W.2d 751 (1966); Bauerle v. Frosh, 180 Neb. 170, 141 N.W.2d 748 (1966).

  • On dismissal of appeal, costs were properly taxed to appellant. City of Seward v. Gruntorad, 158 Neb. 143, 62 N.W.2d 537 (1954).

  • 2. Fees

  • While this section, providing for the award of attorney fees upon the happening of certain events, is couched in terms of "may," in the absence of unusual and compelling reasons, the court "shall" enter such an award. Armstrong v. County of Dixon, 282 Neb. 623, 808 N.W.2d 37 (2011).

  • Upon an appeal by a condemnee only, if the final judgment is not greater than the award of the appraisers in the county court proceedings, the condemnee shall be charged a reasonable sum for the fees of the condemnor's attorney and for fees necessarily incurred for not more than two expert witnesses. Lincoln Branch, Inc. v. City of Lincoln, 245 Neb. 272, 512 N.W.2d 379 (1994).

  • Request for allowance of attorney fees and costs denied. Schneekloth v. County of Sarpy, 214 Neb. 618, 335 N.W.2d 296 (1983).

  • Allowance of one thousand six hundred dollars attorney's fee and one hundred twenty-five dollars expert witness' fee where jury's verdict exceeded appraisers' award by twenty-five percent was not inappropriate. Ward v. Nebraska Electric G. & T. Coop., Inc., 195 Neb. 641, 240 N.W.2d 18 (1976).

  • Attorney's fee reduced because apparently based on some duplication and multiplicity of services and counsel. Harmony Lanes v. State, 193 Neb. 826, 229 N.W.2d 203 (1975).

  • Award of attorney's fee approved. Thacker v. State, 193 Neb. 817, 229 N.W.2d 197 (1975).

  • The allowance of a reasonable attorney's fee will not be reversed on appeal in the absence of a showing of an abuse of discretion by the trial court. Y Motel, Inc. v. State, 193 Neb. 526, 227 N.W.2d 869 (1975).

  • Attorney's fee not allowable for services before appeal to district court and one fee only may be allowed although assistance of necessary counsel is not prohibited. Johnson v. Nebraska Public Power Dist., 187 Neb. 421, 191 N.W.2d 594 (1971).

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • If an appeal is taken to the district court in an inverse condemnation action, the relevant time period for any good faith negotiations for purposes of this section is after the filing of the appeal. Village of Memphis v. Frahm, 287 Neb. 427, 843 N.W.2d 608 (2014).

  • The purpose of this section is to protect property owners against harassment by the institution of groundless appeals on the part of public entities, and its use should be limited to the purposes for which it was intended. Village of Memphis v. Frahm, 287 Neb. 427, 843 N.W.2d 608 (2014).

  • Attorney fees awarded in a condemnation action are allowed and taxed as a part of costs and do not constitute a part of the final judgment on which interest is allowed. Abboud v. Papio-Missouri River NRD, 253 Neb. 514, 571 N.W.2d 302 (1997).

  • Appraisers' fees and court costs, payable by the condemner, are not "liabilities created by statute" within the meaning of section 25-206, R.R.S.1943. Krambeck v. City of Gretna, 198 Neb. 608, 254 N.W.2d 691 (1977).

  • Term final judgment refers only to the final amount recovered as damages, exclusive of interest. Keller v. State, 184 Neb. 853, 172 N.W.2d 782 (1969).

  • Section contemplates one fee, amount should be fixed as though services were performed by one attorney unless circumstances require services of two attorneys. Anderson v. State, 184 Neb. 467, 168 N.W.2d 522 (1969).

  • Latitude permitted by the word may in this section is directed primarily to the amount of fees to be allowed. Iske v. Metropolitan Utilities Dist., 183 Neb. 34, 157 N.W.2d 887 (1968).

  • Reference to a reasonable fee does not mean a contingent fee. Schimonitz v. Midwest Electric Membership Corp., 182 Neb. 810, 157 N.W.2d 548 (1968).

  • Award of attorney's fees modified. Hughes Farms, Inc. v. Tri-State G. & T. Assn., Inc., 182 Neb. 791, 157 N.W.2d 384 (1968).

  • Attorney's fee may be allowed to condemnee under specified conditions for services of attorney in Supreme Court. Pieper v. City of Scottsbluff, 176 Neb. 561, 126 N.W.2d 865 (1964).