Stewart v. Heineman

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Stewart v. Heineman

Case Number
S-16-0018
Call Date
January 5, 2017
Court Number
Lancaster
Case Summary

A-16-0018 Greg Stewart and Stillman Stewart, Lisa Blakey and Janet Rodriguez; and Todd Vesley and Joel Busch v. Dave Heineman, in his official capacity as Governor of Nebraska; Kerry Winterer, in his official capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; and Thomas Pristow, in his official capacity as Director of the Nebraska Division of Children and Family Services (Appellants)

Lancaster County District Court, Judge John H. Colborn

Attorneys: Amy A. Miller (ACLU Nebraska) and Leslie Cooper (ACLU Foundation, Inc. pro hac vice) and Garrard R. Beeney, W. Rudolph Kleysteuber (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, pro hac vice) for Appellees; Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General of Nebraska; James D. Smith, Ryan S. Post (Attorney General's Office) for State of Nebraska officials; Robert McEwen, Sarah Helvey (Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest) (Amicus Curiae) --- Robert F. Bartle (Bartle & Geier) and Daniel S. Volchok, Kevin M. Lamb (Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP) for Child Welfare League of America, National Center for Adoption and Permanency, Voices for Children in Nebraska, and the Donaldson Adoption Institute (Amicus Curiae)

Civil: 42 U.S.C. 1983; injunction

Proceedings below: The district court granted Appellees' summary judgment and granted injunctive relief. After a motion to alter or amend was granted, the court entered an amended order. The injunction enjoined the State from applying any policies, procedures, or review processes treating gay and lesbian individuals and couples differently from heterosexual individuals and couples seeking to be licensed as foster care parents or to adopt a state ward. Appellants filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues: l. The district court erred by receiving hearsay evidence at the hearing on the Appellee's motion for summary judgment. 2. The district court erred by granting summary judgment when there were genuine issues of material fact. 3. The district court erred by granting summary judgment and issuing an injunction when the Appellees did not have standing. 4. The district court erred by deciding a case that was moot. 5. The district court erred in awarding Appellees' attorney fees.