Sunday, July 30, 2006

Follow up: although some DUI prosecutions from the City of Omaha between 1999 and 2003 were invalid according to the NEbraska supreme Court ( State v Loyd, 265 Neb. 232 (Neb 2003)), the State may still use final judgments from that time to enhance penalties for later DUI offensesState v. Keen, 272 Neb. 123 Filed July 28, 2006. No. S-05-945. The Nebraska Supreme Court seems to have tamed its Loyd, which appeared to let drunk drivers loose on the streets because hundreds of drunk drivers were prosecuted under the City Code's invalid version of Nebraska's drunk driving law. State v Keen however forecloses any worse consequences from Loyd as the Supreme Court upholds the use of those possibly invalid convictions to enhance subsequent DUI prosecutions. The Supreme Court rules that Keen's prior convictions under Omaha's 1995 DUI law is res judicata, and thus any challenge to the conviction during enhancement proceedings in subsequent cases amounts to an illegal collateral attack on a final judgment. Keen maintains that to use the 1998 conviction for enhancement purposes, the State must prove he was convicted under an ordinance which was enacted "in conformance with" the DUI statute. See § 60-6,197.02(1)(a). He bases his position on State v Loyd, 265 Neb. 232, 655 N.W.2d 703 (2003), in which this court held on a direct appeal by the State that § 36-115 (1998) of the Omaha Municipal Code was unenforceable because the penalty provisions therein were inconsistent with those in § 60-6,196 (Cum. Supp. 2000).. we assume that the DUI ordinance under which Keen was convicted in 1998 would be unenforceable under Loyd and that if Keen had pled not guilty and raised the issue of the ordinance's invalidity when he was prosecuted in 1998, the ordinance would have been invalidated. When a judgment is attacked in a manner other than by a proceeding in the original action to have it vacated, reversed, or modified, or by a proceeding in equity to prevent its enforcement, the attack is a collateral attack. State v. Smith, 269 Neb. 773, 696 N.W.2d 871 (2005). When the court has jurisdiction over the person and subject matter, a party to the proceeding will be bound by the judgment in the case when collaterally attacking it, even though the judgment was irregularly or erroneously entered. See, Mayfield v. Hartmann, 221 Neb. 122, 375 N.W.2d 146 (1985); State ex rel. Ritthaler v. Knox, 217 Neb. 766, 351 N.W.2d 77 (1984). Until such judgment is rendered void in a proper proceeding and set aside, it remains "'"'valid and binding for all purposes and cannot be collaterally attacked.'"'" Mayfield, 221 Neb. at 124, 375 N.W.2d at 148. This court has recognized that a judgment is an adjudication of all the matters that are essential to support it, and every proposition assumed or decided by the court leading up to the final conclusion and on which such conclusion is based is as effectually passed upon as the ultimate question which is finally resolved. Norlanco, Inc. v. County of Madison, 186 Neb. 100, 181 N.W.2d 119 (1970) The doctrine of res judicata, precluding subsequent litigation of the same cause of action,"is much broader in its application than a determination of the questions involved in the prior action; the conclusiveness of the judgment in such case extends not only to matters actually determined, but also to other matters which could properly have been raised and determined therein. The rule applies to every question relevant to and falling within the purview of the original action, in respect to matters of both claim or grounds of recovery, and defense, which could have been presented by the exercise of diligence." Id. at 106, 181 N.W.2d at 123. Inherent in Keen's 1998 conviction was a determination that the Omaha DUI ordinance to which he pled no contest and under which he was convicted was enforceable, and inherent in that determination was a finding that the city ordinance under which he was convicted was "in conformance with" the state statute. See § 60-6,197.02(1)(a). Thus, Keen could have and should have raised these issues in the 1998 prosecution.

Collateral attacks on previous proceedings are impermissible unless the attack is grounded upon the court's lack of jurisdiction over the parties or subject matter. State v. Smith, 269 Neb. 773, 696 N.W.2d 871 (2005). Only a void judgment is subject to collateral attack. Mayfield v. Hartmann, 221 Neb. 122, 375 N.W.2d 146 (1985). Although Keen's 1998 DUI conviction may have been voidable and subject to reversal upon appeal, it was not void.

We conclude that Keen's 1998 DUI conviction was valid for the purpose of sentence enhancement and that Keen is attempting to collaterally attack that conviction. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the district court on this issue.

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