referee


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Referee

A judicial officer who presides over civil hearings but usually does not have the authority or power to render judgment.

Referees are usually appointed by a judge in the district in which the judge presides. Referees aid the judge by hearing certain matters and by making recommendations concerning special or complicated issues. Judges generally delegate a portion of their judicial power to referees, who then report their recommendations to the judge concerning the issue.

The English chancery master was the fore-runner of the present-day referee. In eighteenth-century England, the chancellor courts used special masters to aid the chancery in handling its expanding Equity jurisdiction. Accordingly, the chancery master aided the chancellor only in equitable matters, such as marriage dissolutions, trust matters, and financial accountings. U.S. jurisdictions adopted the use of special masters or referees modeled on the English chancery master.

In most jurisdictions a referee must be an attorney. Nevertheless, in some complex property or financial matters, a judge may appoint a person who is not an attorney to preside over a dispute and to make recommendations. The term reference usually refers to the trial and determination of issues arising in a civil action by a person appointed for that purpose by the court. An order of reference, which is also called a referral order, is the court order that appoints the referee to hear and recommend action on the issues that are specified in the order.

Judges generally appoint a referee to hear complicated matters, such as financial accountings, property lien issues, or business valuation disputes. Many jurisdictions also have referees who are appointed to hear specified special-jurisdiction matters, such as Family Law, trust and probate, and pretrial discovery disputes. Parties to an action may agree to have a matter heard by a referee. In some jurisdictions the parties' consent to the appointment of a referee to hear the matter may result in the parties' waiver of any right to a jury trial.

A referee makes recommendations to the judge or court that appoints the referee but generally does not issue enforceable orders. A referee generally cannot render judgment in a case. The referee's general duty is to provide a report to the appointing judge on the issues of fact or law that prompted the referee's appointment. It has been said that "nothing can originate before a referee, and nothing can terminate with or by the decision of a referee." Referees generally serve at the pleasure of the judge and accordingly hold less judicial authority than the appointing judge. As a judicial officer, a referee is subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct.

In some jurisdictions a referee may be called a Special Master, court commissioner, or a magistrate. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for example, allow for the appointment of a "master," who can be a referee, an auditor, an examiner, or an assessor. Generally, however, the duties of a master are the same as those of a referee, and the appointing judge may limit the master's powers to report only on specified issues or to perform only particular acts. The federal judiciary also uses magistrate judges—judicial officers who perform a broad range of delegated or statutory duties, such as presiding over initial hearings in criminal cases, misdemeanor trials, pretrial proceedings, and the trial of civil cases. The Federal Magistrate Act of 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90-578, 82 Stat. 1107 [codified at 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 604, 631–639]) created the current system of federal magistrate judges and governs the duties of such magistrates.

Further readings

Sinclair, Kent, Jr. 1996. Practice Before Federal Magistrates. New York: Bender.

referee

n. a person to whom a judge refers a case to take testimony or acquire other evidence such as financial records and report to the court on the referee's findings. (See: master)

referee

noun adjudicator, arbiter, arbitrator, conciliator, interceder, intercessor, intermediary, intermediator, internuncio, intervener, judge, judicator, mediator, moderator, peacemaker, propitiator, reconciler, settler, umpire
Associated concepts: appointment of referee, referee in bankkuptcy, referee's findings, special referee, trial before referee
See also: adjudicate, arbiter, arbitrate, arbitrator, decide, determine, hear, intercede, intermediary, judge, mediate, negotiate, umpire

REFEREE. A person to whom has been referred a matter in dispute, in order that he may settle it. His judgment is called an award. Vide Arbitrator; Reference.

References in periodicals archive ?
I always tried to convey a sense of respect for referees from the players.
Ranjita said: "I am so happy on being awarded the FIFA Referee Badge.
Since the debut of VARS there have been three goals disallowed after the head referee look at video replays, the MLS (https://www.
The post PLC trials video referee appeared first on BroadcastPro ME.
In other words, if a referee does not have a good fitness level, he will not be qualified for judgment in this high level of competition and above a defined level of fitness, the better performance may be related to other mental and cognitive skills and in these cases extra fitness may not bear any advantages for the referee.
Reduce referees in the top league to 14 and assistant referees to 18, reduce referees in the second league to 16 and assistants to 20, and find young referees, under 28, from lower leagues, with their performance on the pitch being the main criterion.
ME-ftE-oy-lu highlighted that although there are many complaints about refereeing from within the country, Turkish referee CE-neyt Ecakyr has been named one of the world's top referees and Halis Euzkahya and HE-seyin GE[micro]cek will join him in UEFA's Elite group of referees next year.
It means O'Reilly, who has swiftly risen through the ranks after less than four years as a referee, may find herself tasked with taking charge of games involving the Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Dragons.
CONSISTENCY among referees is desirable in theory and should be pursued in practice but will never be achieved in practice.
An international referee since 2003, Irmatov was previously honoured in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Moreover, the referees were asked how many times they trained during the week, whether a professional monitored the training, the average duration of the training sessions, when they began to officiate, and whether they practiced soccer as a professional, amateur, or as a hobby before becoming a referee.
Denis Murphy, participation and events manager at Newcastle University, said: "The programme will help us support the growth of student referees who wish to continue to develop their referee skills while studying at university.