Nebraska Revised Statute 27-614
Chapter 27 Section 614
Rule 614. Calling and interrogation of witnesses by judge; objections.
(1) The judge may, on his own motion or at the suggestion of a party, call witnesses, and all parties are entitled to cross-examine witnesses thus called.
(2) The judge may interrogate witnesses, whether called by himself or by a party.
(3) Objections to the calling of witnesses by the judge or to interrogation by him may be made at the time or at the next available opportunity when the jury is not present.
- Laws 1975, LB 279, § 47.
A party’s right to cross-examine witnesses under subsection (1) of this section was not violated where there was no request by either party to question either witness or present additional evidence and the court gave no indication that such a request would be denied. Torres v. Morales, 287 Neb. 587, 843 N.W.2d 805 (2014).
Subsection (2) of this section provides that the trial judge may interrogate witnesses, whether called by the judge or by a party; however, the trial judge should use this right sparingly. State v. Bjorklund, 258 Neb. 432, 604 N.W.2d 169 (2000).
Under the provisions of this section, the trial judge may interrogate witnesses, whether called by himself or by a party; objections to questions propounded by the court must be made at the time of trial. State v. Fix, 219 Neb. 674, 365 N.W.2d 471 (1985).
The right of a judge to interrogate a witness should be very sparingly exercised because, generally, counsel for the parties should be relied on and allowed to manage and bring out their own case, and at no time should the actions of the judge in this respect be such as to warrant any assertion that they were with a view to assistance of the one or the other party to the cause. State v. Brehmer, 211 Neb. 29, 317 N.W.2d 885 (1982).
Trial court did not err in failing to allow party to cross-examine witness following interrogation by judge where that party made no objection to record as made, and that party made no request to further interrogate witness. Baltes v. Hodges, 207 Neb. 740, 301 N.W.2d 92 (1981).
A trial court may, on its own motion, call witnesses and interrogate witnesses pursuant to this section. Scudder v. Haug, 201 Neb. 107, 266 N.W.2d 232 (1978).
Pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, a trial court must act impartially and not prejudicially in exercising the discretionary power given to judges under this section to call and to interrogate witnesses. Gernstein v. Allen, 10 Neb. App. 214, 630 N.W.2d 672 (2001).