Nebraska Revised Statute 18-2538

Chapter 18 Section 2538

18-2538.

Declaratory judgment; procedure; effect.

The municipality or any chief petitioner may seek a declaratory judgment regarding any questions arising under Chapter 18, article 25, as it may be from time to time amended, including, but not limited to, determining whether a measure is subject to referendum or limited referendum or whether a measure may be enacted by initiative. If a chief petitioner seeks a declaratory judgment, the municipality shall be served as provided in section 25-510.02. If the municipality seeks a declaratory judgment, only the chief petitioner or chief petitioners shall be required to be served. Any action brought for declaratory judgment for purposes of determining whether a measure is subject to limited referendum or referendum, or whether a measure may be enacted by initiative, may be filed in the district court at any time after the filing of a referendum or initiative petition with the city clerk for signature verification until forty days from the date the governing body received notification pursuant to section 18-2518. If the municipality does not bring an action for declaratory judgment to determine whether the measure is subject to limited referendum or referendum, or whether the measure may be enacted by initiative until after it has received notification pursuant to section 18-2518, it shall be required to proceed with the initiative or referendum election in accordance with sections 18-2501 to 18-2537 and this section. If the municipality does file such an action prior to receiving notification pursuant to section 18-2518, it shall not be required to proceed to hold such election until a final decision has been rendered in the action. Any action for a declaratory judgment shall be governed generally by sections 25-21,149 to 25-21,164, as amended from time to time, except that only the municipality and each chief petitioner shall be required to be made parties. The municipality, city clerk, governing body, or any of the municipality's officers shall be entitled to rely on any order rendered by the court in any such proceeding. Any action brought for declaratory judgment pursuant to this section shall be given priority in scheduling hearings and in disposition as determined by the court. When an action is brought to determine whether the measure is subject to limited referendum or referendum, or whether a measure may be enacted by initiative, a decision shall be rendered by the court no later than five days prior to the election. The provisions of this section relating to declaratory judgments shall not be construed as limiting, but construed as supplemental and additional to other rights and remedies conferred by law.

Source

  • Laws 1984, LB 1010, § 8.

Annotations

  • If a municipality claims that a proposed ballot measure violates a statute under Chapter 18, article 25, of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, the claim is a challenge to the procedure or form of the proposal that may be raised in a preelection declaratory judgment action. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • Under this section, if a city files a declaratory judgment action to challenge a ballot measure within 40 days of receiving notice of the requisite signatures, a court may invalidate the measure because of a deficiency in form or procedure even if the voters approved it. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • Under this section, when a city fails to file a declaratory judgment action to challenge the validity of a proposed ballot measure before it receives notification of the requisite signatures, a court does not have authority to keep the measure off the ballot, which precludes a court from blocking a count of the votes. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • The language "whether a measure may be enacted by initiative" does not permit a court to issue an advisory opinion regarding the substance of an initiative measure prior to its adoption. City of Fremont v. Kotas, 279 Neb. 720, 781 N.W.2d 456 (2010).

  • The language "whether a measure may be enacted by initiative" encompasses only procedural challenges. City of Fremont v. Kotas, 279 Neb. 720, 781 N.W.2d 456 (2010).

  • Under this section, if a municipality does not bring an action for declaratory judgment to determine whether a measure is subject to limited referendum or referendum or whether a measure may be enacted by initiative until after it receives notification pursuant to section 18-2518, it shall be required to proceed with the initiative or referendum election. Sydow v. City of Grand Island, 263 Neb. 389, 639 N.W.2d 913 (2002).