Scalise v. Davis

Nebraska Supreme Court Online Library 09/30/2022 09:07 AM CDT - 518 - Nebraska Supreme Court Advance Sheets 312 Nebraska Reports SCALISE V. DAVIS Cite as 312 Neb. 518 Nicholas N. Scalise, appellant, v. Jeffrey L. Davis and the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, appellees. ___ N.W.2d___ Filed September 30, 2022. No. S-21-031. 1. Courts: Appeal and Error. In an appeal from the county court general civil docket, the district court acts as an intermediate appellate court and not as a trial court. 2. ____: ____. Both the district court and a higher appellate court gener- ally review appeals from the county court for error appearing on the record. 3. Judgments: Appeal and Error. When reviewing a judgment for errors appearing on the record, an appellate court’s inquiry is whether the deci- sion conforms to the law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable. 4. Appeal and Error. An appellate court independently reviews questions of law in appeals from the county court. 5. Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation presents a ques- tion of law, for which an appellate court has an obligation to reach an independent conclusion irrespective of the determination made by the court below. 6. Misdemeanors. For purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33)(A) (2018), a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is a misdemeanor offense that (1) has, as an element, the use of force and (2) is committed by a person who has a specified domestic relationship with the victim. 7. Statutes: Words and Phrases. A divisible statute is a statute that sets out one or more elements of the offense in the alternative. 8. Criminal Law: Statutes: Convictions. The circumstance-specific approach applies where the underlying statute refers to specific circum- stances rather than to generic crimes and allows a court to look beyond the elements of the prior offense and consider the facts and circum- stances underlying an offender’s conviction. - 519 - Nebraska Supreme Court Advance Sheets 312 Nebraska Reports SCALISE V. DAVIS Cite as 312 Neb. 518 Appeal from the District Court for Sarpy County, Stefanie A. Martinez, Judge, on appeal thereto from the County Court for Sarpy County, Todd J. Hutton, Judge. Judgment of District Court affirmed. Hugh I. Abrahamson, of Abrahamson Law Office, and Phillip G. Wright for appellant. No appearance for appellees. Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, Papik, and Freudenberg, JJ. Funke, J. INTRODUCTION In 2020, the Sarpy County, Nebraska, sheriff’s office denied Nicholas N. Scalise’s application for a certificate to possess a handgun. In doing so, the sheriff determined that Scalise’s prior conviction for third degree assault qualified as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) (2018). Scalise filed a handgun appeal with the county court, arguing that he had never been convicted of a crime of domes- tic violence. The county court denied Scalise’s relief, as did the district court on appeal. For reasons set forth herein, we affirm the order of the district court, affirming the order of the …

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