Norwest Bank of Nebraska v. Bill R. Bowers & Ilene Sue Bowers,
516 N.W.2d 623 (Neb. 06/03/1994)
SUPREME COURT OF NEBRASKA
1994.NE.294, 516 N.W.2d 623, 246 Neb. 83
June 3, 1994
NORWEST BANK NEBRASKA, N.A., A FEDERAL BANKING INSTITUTION, APPELLEE,
BILL R. BOWERS AND ILENE SUE BOWERS, APPELLANTS
SYLLABUS BY THE COURT
1. Conveyances: Statutes: Time. Statutes covering substantive matters in effect at the time of the
transaction govern, not later enacted statutes.
2. Appeal and Error. A party cannot complain of error which he has invited the court to commit.
Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Joseph S. Troia, Judge.
As Corrected November 23, 1994.
Jerome J. Ortman for appellants.
Thomas M. Locher and Kevin J. Dostal, of Hansen, Engles & Locher, P.C., for appellee.
Hastings, C.j., Boslaugh, Caporale, Fahrnbruch, and Wright, JJ. White, J., participating on
briefs. Lanphier, J., not participating. White, J., Dissents.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
Following a bench trial, the district court for Douglas County entered judgment in favor of
Norwest Bank Nebraska, N.A. (Norwest Bank). Norwest Bank had sued Ilene Sue Bowers and her
husband, Bill R. Bowers, to have certain conveyances by Henry and Eleanor Greenberg to their
daughter, Ilene, set aside as fraudulent. The Bowerses now seek review of the district court's
order overruling their motion for new trial.
We affirm the order of the district court.
On March 18, 1992, Norwest Bank filed a second amended petition in a consolidated lawsuit against
Ilene Sue Bowers and her husband, Bill R. Bowers, pursuant to the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance
Act (UFCA), Neb. Rev. Stat. § 36-601 et seq. (Reissue 1988). The UFCA was repealed by the
Legislature in 1989 and was replaced with the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §
36-701 et seq. (Cum. Supp. 1992). In this case, Norwest Bank's cause of action against the
Bowerses accrued in 1987. Statutes covering substantive matters in effect at the time of the
transaction govern, not later enacted statutes. Schall v. Anderson's Implement, 240 Neb. 658, 484
N.W.2d 86 (1992); Holthaus v. Parsons, 238 Neb. 223, 469 N.W.2d 536 (1991).
The petition alleged that in 1987 Norwest Bank's judgment debtor, Henry Greenberg, and his now-
deceased wife, Eleanor Greenberg, fraudulently conveyed interests in three parcels of real estate,
an automobile, a computer, and $68,869 in cash to their daughter, Ilene Sue Bowers.
Following a bench trial, the district court, on July 27, 1992, found that the transfers were made
when Henry Greenberg was insolvent and that the transfers were made to hinder, delay, and defraud
creditors, and it entered judgment for Norwest Bank. On July 30, the Bowerses filed a document
entitled "Defendants' Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict, in the Alternative for a
New Trial, or, in the Alternative, for an Order of Remittitur and Notice of Hearing."
At a hearing on August 17, 1992, the Bowerses' counsel twice expressed his intent to file an
appeal that same day and twice requested that the trial court overrule the Bowerses' motion for
new trial. The trial court then overruled the motion for new trial.
On that same day, presumably subsequent to the trial court's overruling of their motion for new
trial, the Bowerses filed a notice of intent to appeal which stated in relevant part:
COME NOW the Defendants, and hereby give notice of their intent to appeal to the Nebraska Court of
Appeals from the overruling of Defendants' Motion for New Trial entered herein by the Hon. Joseph
S. Troia, District Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, dated August 17, 1992[,] for the reason that
same is not supported by the evidence and it is contrary to law.
The Bowerses then proceeded with their appeal, raising several assignments of error. The case was
removed from the Nebraska Court of Appeals to this court pursuant to our authority to regulate the
caseloads of the appellate courts of this state.
It has long been the rule in this state that a party cannot complain of error which he has invited
the court to commit. See, e.g., Missouri P. R. Co. v. Fox, 60 Neb. 531, 83 N.W. 744 (1900);
Campbell v. Crone, 10 Neb. 571, 7 N.W. 334 (1880). Accord, Schaneman v. Wright, 238 Neb. 309, 470
N.W.2d 566 (1991); First West Side Bank v. Hiddleston, 225 Neb. 563, 407 N.W.2d 170 (1987); Fuel
Exploration, Inc. v. Novotny, 221 Neb. 17, 374 N.W.2d 838 (1985).
The Bowerses' counsel, not once, but twice, requested that the trial court overrule the Bowerses'
motion for new trial. The trial court complied with this request. Assuming but not deciding that
it was error for the trial court to overrule the Bowerses' motion for new trial, this court finds
that it was error invited by the Bowerses themselves. Therefore, the Bowerses will not now be
heard to complain of the trial court's overruling their motion for new trial.
Because the Bowerses have appealed from only the overruling of their motion for new trial, there
are no other issues before the court on appeal.
The order of the district court is affirmed.