Nebraska Revised Statute 33-139

Chapter 33


Witnesses; compensation; mileage.

Witnesses before the district court and the county court, except the Small Claims Court, and the grand jury shall receive twenty dollars, and witnesses before the Small Claims Court shall receive eight dollars, for each day actually employed in attendance on the court or grand jury, and if the witness shall reside more than one mile from the courthouse or place where the court is held, he or she shall receive mileage at the rate provided in section 81-1176 for state employees for each mile necessarily traveled.



  • 1. Witness fee

  • 2. Mileage

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Witness fee

  • Absent a contract for services setting a different fee, an expert witness is entitled only to the fee set by this statute. Lockwood v. Lockwood, 205 Neb. 818, 290 N.W.2d 636 (1980); Hefti v. Hefti, 166 Neb. 181, 88 N.W.2d 231 (1958); Main v. Sherman County, 74 Neb. 155, 103 N.W. 1038 (1905).

  • This section does not authorize the payment of twenty dollars per day to a material witness during the time that he is confined while unable to post bond. Cochran v. County of Lincoln, 203 Neb. 818, 280 N.W.2d 897 (1979).

  • Entitlement to witness fee by testifying officers and stockholders of plaintiff corporation is unambiguous and statute contains no exceptions. Nebraska Im-Pruv-All, Inc. v. Sass, 197 Neb. 261, 247 N.W.2d 924 (1976).

  • In the absence of special contract, expert witness is entitled to statutory fee only. Hefti v. Hefti, 166 Neb. 181, 88 N.W.2d 231 (1958).

  • Our statutes having fixed the amount to be paid matter of fact witnesses residing within the jurisdiction of the court and subject to its process, for their attendance at trial therein, a special contract to pay such witnesses more than the regular witness fee is illegal, contrary to public policy, and void. State ex rel. Spillman v. First Bank of Nickerson, 114 Neb. 423, 207 N.W. 674 (1926).

  • A witness summoned to appear before a grand jury was not entitled to a witness fee for merely going to the courthouse where he did not appear before the grand jury or failed to report his presence to the foreman, the bailiff or the county attorney. Dunn v. Douglas County, 61 Neb. 179, 85 N.W. 56 (1901).

  • A witness who testifies as an expert on a subject requiring special knowledge and skill is, in the absence of a contract for those services, entitled only to the statutory witness fee set out in this section. Davis v. Davis, 7 Neb. App. 78, 578 N.W.2d 907 (1998).

  • 2. Mileage

  • As a general rule, mileage for witnesses in a civil action is taxed only for the distance that a subpoena will run and become effective. Smith v. Bartlett, 78 Neb. 359, 110 N.W. 991 (1907).

  • A witness who resides in another state, and who accepts service and testifies for the state in a criminal prosecution, is entitled to mileage for the whole distance that he necessarily travels, and the state is entitled to have such witness fees taxed against the defendant in the event that the prosecution is successful. Ried v. State, 19 Neb. 695, 28 N.W. 300 (1886).

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • This section, in conjunction with sections 14-205(25), 14-501, 26-108, and 26-114, is sufficient to determine that the city has the ultimate responsibility to pay for costs incurred in the prosecution of offenders for city ordinances. Jasa v. City of Omaha, 218 Neb. 314, 352 N.W.2d 913 (1984).