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The process by which a tribunal sends a civil action, or a particular issue in the action, to an individual who has been appointed by the tribunal to hear and decide upon it, or to obtain evidence, and make a report to the court.
REFERENCE, contracts. An agreement to submit to certain arbitrators, matters in dispute between two or more parties, for their decision, and judgment. The persons to whom such matters are referred are sometimes called referees.
REFERENCE, mercantile law. A direction or request by a party who asks a credit to the person from whom he expects it, to call on some other person named in order to ascertain the character or mercantile standing of the former.
REFERENCE, practice. The act of sending any matter by a court of chancery or one exercising equitable powers, to a master or other officer, in order that he may ascertain facts and report to the court. By reference is also understood that part of an instrument of writing where it points to another for the matters therein contained. For the effect of such reference, see 1 Pick. R. 27; 17 Mass. R. 443; 15 Pick. R. 66; 7 Halst. R. 25; 14 Wend. R. 619; 10 Conn. R. 422; 4 Greenl. R. 14, 471; 3 Greenl. R. 393; 6 Pick. R. 460; the thing referred to is also called a reference.