Nebraska State Constitution Article V-22

Article V-22


State may sue and be sued.

The state may sue and be sued, and the Legislature shall provide by law in what manner and in what courts suits shall be brought.


  • Neb. Const. art. VI, sec. 22 (1875);
  • Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. V, sec. 22.


1. Suit by state

2. Suit against state

3. Appeal from disallowance of claim

1. Suit by state

State may sue in its own name to seek enforcement of public right or restrain public wrong. State v. Pacific Express Co., 80 Neb. 823, 115 N.W. 619 (1908).

When state invokes judgment of court it lays aside its sovereignty. State ex rel. Smyth v. Kennedy, 60 Neb. 300, 83 N.W. 87 (1900).

Constitutional provision that state may sue and be sued is not self-executing. O'Connor v. Slaker, 22 F.2d 147 (8th Cir. 1927).

2. Suit against state

This provision is not self-executing, but instead requires legislative action for waiver of the State's sovereign immunity. Livengood v. Nebraska State Patrol Ret. Sys., 273 Neb. 247, 729 N.W.2d 55 (2007).

This section is not self-executing, but requires legislative action for waiver of a state's sovereign immunity. Riley v. State, 244 Neb. 250, 506 N.W.2d 45 (1993).

This provision, concerning a waiver of sovereign immunity, is not self-executing, but requires legislative action to waive the state's sovereign immunity. Concerned Citizens v. Department of Environ. Contr., 244 Neb. 152, 505 N.W.2d 654 (1993).

Trial court erred in assessing fees and expenses incurred by a special prosecutor in a civil child support action in the absence of a statute permitting such an award. State on behalf of Garcia v. Garcia, 238 Neb. 455, 471 N.W.2d 388 (1991).

This section is not self-executing. Legislative action is necessary to make it available. Gentry v. State, 174 Neb. 515, 118 N.W.2d 643 (1962).

Legislative consent is not necessary to maintenance of suit against state seeking to recover under the Constitution damages arising as the result of improper construction of state highway. Schmutte v. State, 147 Neb. 193, 22 N.W.2d 691 (1946).

In a workmen's compensation case, special appearance of state should have been sustained in view of fact that Legislature had failed to provide manner in which service of process may be had against the state or a department of state government. Callen v. State, 137 Neb. 192, 288 N.W. 547 (1939).

Constitutional provision relating to suits against state is not self-executing and legislative action is necessary to make it available. Anstine v. State, 137 Neb. 148, 288 N.W. 525 (1939).

Legislature cannot by special act waive sovereignty of state in favor of an individual and authorize such individual to sue for damages due to negligence of state's agents and servants. Cox v. State, 134 Neb. 751, 279 N.W. 482 (1938).

Suit to foreclose mortgage involving real estate to which state has legal title cannot be maintained against state without its consent. Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Nordhues, 129 Neb. 379, 261 N.W. 687 (1935).

Immunity of state from suit does not apply to injunction proceeding to prevent administrative department and its employees from taking possession of land under void award in eminent domain proceedings. Goergen v. Department of Public Works, 123 Neb. 648, 243 N.W. 886 (1932).

Where statutes provide exclusive remedy against state and particular form, one branch of Legislature alone cannot extend jurisdiction beyond that limited by statute or to another forum. McNeel v. State, 120 Neb. 674, 234 N.W. 786 (1931).

Prior to amendment of Workmen's Compensation Act by 1935 special session, neither state nor administrative department thereof could be sued on claim under Workmen's Compensation Act. Eidenmiller v. State, 120 Neb. 430, 233 N.W. 447 (1930).

Resolution by Legislature authorizing recovery for negligence of state employee does not render state liable and no recovery can be had until Legislature by law establishes liability of state therefor. Shear v. State, 117 Neb. 865, 223 N.W. 130 (1929).

State's immunity from suit cannot be waived by voluntary general appearance by Attorney General. McShane v. Murray, 106 Neb. 512, 184 N.W. 147 (1921).

Resolution by Legislature is sufficient authority for claimant to sue state. Lancaster County v. State, 74 Neb. 211, 104 N.W. 187 (1905), affirmed on rehearing 74 Neb. 215, 107 N.W. 388 (1906).

This section has been sufficiently supplemented to permit suits by or against the state. In re Petition of Attorney General, 40 Neb. 402, 58 N.W. 945 (1894).

Nebraska's Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act does not waive the State's sovereign immunity. JHK, Inc. v. Nebraska Dept. of Banking & Finance, 17 Neb. App. 186, 757 N.W.2d 515 (2008).

3. Appeal from disallowance of claim

Claims against the state founded on a contract, express or implied, must be presented to the Auditor of Public Accounts, with right of appeal to the courts, but may not be presented to the courts in the first instance. Scotts Bluff County v. State, 133 Neb. 508, 276 N.W. 185 (1937).

To confer jurisdiction on appeal from rejection of claim against state, certified transcript of proceedings before auditor and Secretary of State must be filed in district court. Pickus v. State, 115 Neb. 869, 215 N.W. 129 (1927).

State may be sued in district court where capital located, on claim based on contract with Department of Public Works after disallowance of claim by auditor. Peterson v. State, 113 Neb. 546, 203 N.W. 1002 (1925).

State cannot be sued until after auditor refuses to adjust claim. State v. Lancaster County Bank, 8 Neb. 218 (1879).