State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Nebraska > Chapter25 > 25-1801

25-1801. Claims of four thousand dollars or less; recovery; costs;interest; attorney's fees.Any person, partnership,limited liability company, association, or corporation in this state havinga claim which amounts to four thousand dollars or lessagainst any person, partnership, limited liability company, association, orcorporation doing business in this state for (1) services rendered, (2) labordone, (3) material furnished, (4) overcharges made and collected, (5) lostor damaged personal property, (6) damage resulting from delay in transmissionor transportation, (7) livestock killed or injured in transit, or (8) chargescovering articles and service affecting the life and well-being of the debtorwhich are adjudged by the court to be necessaries of life may present thesame to such person, partnership, limited liability company, association,or corporation, or to any agent thereof, for payment in any county where suitmay be instituted for the collection of the same. If, at the expiration ofninety days after the presentation of such claim, the same has not been paidor satisfied, he, she, or it may institute suit thereon in the proper court. If payment is made to the plaintiff byor on behalf of the defendant after the filing of the suit but before judgmentis taken, except as otherwise agreed in writing by the plaintiff, the plaintiffshall be entitled to receive the costs of suit whether by voluntary paymentor judgment. If he, she, or it establishes the claim and securesjudgment thereon, he, she, or it shall be entitled to recover the full amountof such judgment and all costs of suit thereon, and, in addition thereto,interest on the amount of the claim at the rate of six percent per annum fromthe date of presentation thereof, and, if he, she, or it has an attorney employedin the case, an amount for attorney's fees as provided in this section. Ifthe cause is taken to an appellate court and plaintiff shall recover judgmentthereon, the appellate court shall tax as costs in the action, to be paidto the plaintiff, an additional amount for attorney's fees in such appellatecourt as provided in this section, except that if the party in interest failsto recover a judgment in excess of the amount that may have been tenderedby any person, partnership, limited liability company, association, or corporationliable under this section, then such party in interest shall not recover theattorney's fees provided by this section. Attorney's fees shall be assessedby the court in a reasonable amount but shall in no event be less than tendollars when the judgment is fifty dollars or less and when the judgment isover fifty dollars up to four thousand dollars theattorney's fee shall be ten dollars plus ten percent of the judgment in excessof fifty dollars. SourceLaws 1919, c. 191, § 1, p. 865; C.S.1922, § 9126; C.S.1929, § 20-1801; R.S.1943, § 25-1801; Laws 1951, c. 70, § 1, p. 225; Laws 1955, c. 92, § 1, p. 269; Laws 1967, c. 150, § 1, p. 446; Laws 1993, LB 121, § 171; Laws 2009, LB35, § 13. Cross ReferencesFor interest on unsettled accounts, see section 45-104. Annotations1. Allowance2. Denial3. Procedure4. Miscellaneous1. AllowancePlaintiff allowed fee hereunder for services of his counsel. Bauer v. Board of Regents of University of Nebraska, 192 Neb. 87, 219 N.W.2d 236 (1974).Under this section when the judgment is over fifty dollars, the attorney's fee allowable is fixed at the sum of ten dollars plus ten percent of the judgment in excess of fifty dollars. Potts v. Mahood, 187 Neb. 142, 187 N.W.2d 655 (1971).Attorney's fee correctly computed under facts of case. Sinnett v. Hie Food Products, Inc., 185 Neb. 221, 174 N.W.2d 720 (1970).Allowance of attorney's fee for services in Supreme Court was proper in suit on open running account. Lewis v. Hiskey, 166 Neb. 402, 89 N.W.2d 132 (1958).Allowance of attorneys' fees for services in Supreme Court sustained. Benson v. General Implement Corporation, 151 Neb. 234, 37 N.W.2d 223 (1949).Party must plead and prove conditions precedent to be entitled to allowance of an attorney's fee. Haley v. Fleming, 148 Neb. 407, 27 N.W.2d 626 (1947).It is the practice to allow attorney's fees and expenses only where provided by statute or where uniform course of procedure has been to allow such recovery. Blacker v. Kitchen Bros. Hotel Co., 133 Neb. 66, 273 N.W. 836 (1937).Reasonable attorney's fee may be taxed against employer on claim for wages. Dobney v. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co., 120 Neb. 824, 235 N.W. 585 (1931).Section is not unconstitutional as providing penalty in favor of individual. Daily v. Chicago, St. P., M. & O. Ry. Co., 110 Neb. 481, 194 N.W. 676 (1923).2. DenialAttorney's fee for collecting an attorney's fee not allowed where first fee was expense claimed against trust fund. Krause v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 184 Neb. 588, 169 N.W.2d 601 (1969).Voluntary reduction in amount of claim to one thousand dollars did not authorize allowance of attorney's fee. Hancock v. Parks, 172 Neb. 442, 110 N.W.2d 69 (1961).Denial of attorney's fee based upon claim against a fund paid into court was proper. United Services Automobile Assn. v. Hills, 172 Neb. 128, 109 N.W.2d 174 (1961).Prayer for a total amount in excess of one thousand dollars due on one cause of action did not authorize allowance of attorney's fees. Schaffer v. Strauss Brothers, 164 Neb. 773, 83 N.W.2d 543 (1957).Attorney's fees were not recoverable in action to enforce judgment. Ehlers v. Campbell, 159 Neb. 328, 66 N.W.2d 585 (1954).3. ProcedureIn order to receive an attorney fee under this section, it is necessary to plead and prove all the conditions precedent enumerated in the statute. Guaranteed Foods v. Rison, 207 Neb. 400, 299 N.W.2d 507 (1980).Where request for attorney's fees failed to show compliance with this section or Rule 8 b 3 of Rules of the Supreme Court, 1974, it was disallowed. Edward Frank Rozman Co. v. Keillor, 195 Neb. 587, 239 N.W.2d 779 (1976).Prejudgment interest and an attorney's fee cannot be recovered hereunder unless it is proved the claim was presented ninety days before suit commenced. Andrews Electric Co. v. Farm Automation, Inc., 188 Neb. 669, 198 N.W.2d 463 (1972).To collect attorney's fee hereunder, plaintiff must plead and prove conditions precedent. Nichol v. Clema, 188 Neb. 74, 195 N.W.2d 233 (1972); Andrews v. Wilkie, 181 Neb. 398, 148 N.W.2d 924 (1967).4. MiscellaneousCited and held not in point on facts in action involving fidelity policy or bond. Beshaler v. Helberg, 187 Neb. 584, 193 N.W.2d 261 (1971).Allowance of attorney's fee within the limitations provided are within the sound discretion of the trial court. Anoka-Butte Lumber Co. v. Malerbi, 180 Neb. 256, 142 N.W.2d 314 (1966).