Burns v. BurnsAnnotate this Case
A 2004 dissolution decree awarded Kerry custody of the parties’ children, provided Michael with parenting time, and ordered Michael to pay child support. The parties settled a 2011 petition for an increase in support and counter-petition, but neither petition was dismissed. In 2013, the court granted Michael’s motion to compel compliance with the settlement. The Court of Appeals remanded with direction to prepare the applicable worksheets. Following remand, both appealed. In 2015, the Court of Appeals reversed in part. In 2013, while the first modification was ongoing, Michael sought changes of custody and child support. A summons issued, but a deputy was unable to serve Kerry. An appointed special process server later certified that personal service had been “effectuated,” but did not actually serve Kerry with a summons. Kerry objected to jurisdiction. The court found that Kerry received actual notice and had not been prejudiced by the manner of service. Kerry filed an answer. In 2014, the district court granted Michael’s application to modify the order. The Court of Appeals vacated, holding that Michael’s failure to serve the summons on Kerry within six months deprived the court of jurisdiction. The Nebraska Supreme Court reversed. Kerry waived service of process by making a general appearance in the second proceeding and the court retained jurisdiction to modify custody while an appeal on other issues was pending.