Nebraska Revised Statute 25-1131

Chapter 25 Section 1131

25-1131.

Trial by referee; procedure; findings of fact; conclusions of law; effect.

The trial before referees is conducted in the same manner as a trial by the court. They have the same power to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses, to administer all necessary oaths in the trial of the case, and to grant adjournments, as the court upon such trial. They must state the facts found and the conclusions of law, separately, and their decision must be given, and may be excepted to and reviewed in like manner. The report of the referees upon the whole issue stands as the decision of the court, and judgment may be entered thereon in the same manner as if the action had been tried by the court. When the reference is to report the facts, the report has the effect of a special verdict.

Source

  • R.S.1867, Code § 300, p. 445;
  • R.S.1913, § 7869;
  • C.S.1922, § 8814;
  • C.S.1929, § 20-1131;
  • R.S.1943, § 25-1131.

Annotations

  • 1. Trial

  • 2. Findings

  • 3. Exceptions

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Trial

  • Referee appointed solely to take testimony and report cannot rule on admissibility of evidence. Brotherton v. Brotherton, 14 Neb. 186, 15 N.W. 347 (1883).

  • Report cannot be set aside except for cause as in granting new trials. Tingley v. Dolby, 13 Neb. 371, 14 N.W. 146 (1882).

  • Referee cannot grant motion for new trial. Murray v. School Dist. No. 3 of Platte County, 11 Neb. 438, 9 N.W. 573 (1881).

  • Motion for new trial is necessary to review decision. Light v. Kennard, 11 Neb. 129, 7 N.W. 539 (1881).

  • 2. Findings

  • The recommended factual findings of a special master have the effect of a special verdict, and the report upon questions of fact, like the verdict of a jury, will not be set aside unless clearly against the weight of the evidence. Larkin v. Ethicon, Inc., 251 Neb. 169, 556 N.W.2d 44 (1996).

  • Unchallenged findings cannot be disputed on appeal. Chicago Lumber Co. v. Bancroft, 64 Neb. 176, 89 N.W. 780 (1902).

  • The failure to state findings of fact or conclusions of law is an irregularity that may be waived. Burkland v. Johnson, 50 Neb. 858, 70 N.W. 388 (1897).

  • Findings like verdict may be set aside on motion for new trial. School Dist. No. 1 of Harlan County v. Bishop, 46 Neb. 850, 65 N.W. 902 (1896).

  • Referee must state facts and conclusions separately, must give his decision, shall sign any true exceptions taken, and return same with his report. Gibson v. Gibson, 24 Neb. 394, 39 N.W. 450 (1888).

  • Court has power to modify findings and enter judgment on special findings, where inconsistent with general. Gillespie v. Brown & Ryan Bros., 16 Neb. 457, 20 N.W. 632 (1884).

  • The report of a referee upon questions of fact, like the verdict of a jury, will not be set aside unless clearly against the weight of the evidence. Brown v. O'Brien, 4 Neb. 195 (1876).

  • Findings on conflicting evidence are not disturbed on appeal. Creedon v. Patrick, 3 Neb. Unof. 459, 91 N.W. 872 (1902).

  • 3. Exceptions

  • Where no exceptions are filed to findings of fact of a referee prior to confirmation, such findings are binding on all parties. Corn Belt Products Co. v. Mullins, 172 Neb. 561, 110 N.W.2d 845 (1961).

  • Where no exceptions are filed to report, judgment should be entered as on verdict. State v. Standard Oil Co. of Indiana, 63 Neb. 95, 88 N.W. 175 (1901).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • Section applies to arbitrators. In re Arbitration of Johnson, 87 Neb. 375, 127 N.W. 133 (1910).

  • This section is applicable to arbitration proceedings. City of O'Neill v. Clark, 57 Neb. 760, 78 N.W. 256 (1899).

  • Referee's power expires at time set for filing report; but if filed later, is irregularity, and court may act thereon. Creedon v. Patrick, 3 Neb. Unof. 459, 91 N.W. 872 (1902).

  • Report has no judicial force until confirmed. Citizens Bank of Humphrey v. Stockslager, 1 Neb. Unof. 799, 96 N.W. 591 (1901).