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631.11 Hearing.

1. Informality. The hearing shall be to the court, shall be simple and informal, and shall be conducted by the court itself, without regard to technicalities of procedure.

2. Evidence. The court shall swear the parties and their witnesses, and examine them in such a way as to bring out the truth. The parties may participate, either personally or by attorney. The court may continue the hearing from time to time and may amend new or amended pleadings, if justice requires.

3. Record. Upon the trial, the judicial magistrate shall make detailed minutes of the testimony of each witness and append the exhibits or copies thereof to the record. The proceedings upon trial shall not be reported by a certified court reporter, unless the party provides the reporter at such party's expense. The magistrate, in the magistrate's discretion, may cause the proceedings upon trial to be reported electronically. If the proceedings are being electronically recorded both parties shall be notified in advance of that recording. If the proceedings have been reported electronically the recording shall be retained under the jurisdiction of the magistrate unless appealed, and upon appeal shall be transcribed only by a person designated by the court under the supervision of the magistrate.

4. Judgment. Judgment shall be rendered, based upon applicable law and upon a preponderance of the evidence.

5. Destruction of recordings. Unless an appeal is taken, an electronic recording of a proceeding in small claims shall be retained until the time for appeal has expired as specified in section 631.13. Thereafter, the magistrate may direct that the recording tape or other device be erased and used for subsequent recordings. If the proceeding is appealed, the recording may be erased following entry of judgment by the district judge hearing the appeal.

Section History: Early form

[C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 631.11]

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