Nebraska Revised Statute 25-1210

Chapter 25 Section 1210


Witnesses; answer subjecting to criminal liability; disgracing answer; privilege.

When the matter sought to be elicited would tend to render the witness criminally liable or to expose him or her to public ignominy, the witness is not compelled to answer, except as provided in section 27-609.


  • R.S.1867, Code § 337, p. 450;
  • R.S.1913, § 7902;
  • C.S.1922, § 8844;
  • C.S.1929, § 20-1210;
  • R.S.1943, § 25-1210;
  • Laws 2003, LB 19, § 2.

Cross References

  • For privilege of immunity in proceeding for discovery of property, see section 25-1567.


  • The public ignominy privilege provided in this section cannot be asserted by a witness in a criminal case. State v. Riensche, 283 Neb. 820, 812 N.W.2d 293 (2012).

  • In dissolution action, trial court's ruling allowing wife to invoke the privilege against self-incrimination was supported by this section. Ritchey v. Ritchey, 208 Neb. 100, 302 N.W.2d 372 (1981).

  • In determining whether the testimony of a witness who had pleaded guilty to a similar charge but had not been sentenced, who invoked the privilege of self-incrimination during cross-examination may be used against the defendant, a distinction must be drawn between cases in which the assertion of the privilege merely precludes inquiry into collateral matters which bear only on the creditability of the witness and those cases in which the assertion of the privilege prevents inquiry into matters about which the witness testified on direct examination. State v. Bittner, 188 Neb. 298, 196 N.W.2d 186 (1972).

  • Privilege of refusing to answer may be asserted at time witness is confronted with question or interrogatory. State ex rel. Beck v. Lush, 168 Neb. 367, 95 N.W.2d 695 (1959).

  • Privilege of witness to refuse to answer on ground answer may tend to incriminate him or expose him to public ignominy must be timely made or it will be deemed to have been waived. State ex rel. Wright v. Barlow, 132 Neb. 166, 271 N.W. 282 (1937).

  • Questions tending to incriminate or expose witness to public ignominy were improper. Pricer v. Lincoln Gas & Elec. Co., 111 Neb. 209, 196 N.W. 150 (1923).

  • If witness testified to part, he waives privilege as to whole transaction. Lombard v. Mayberry, 24 Neb. 674, 40 N.W. 271 (1888).