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Nebraska Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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48-180. Findings, order, award, or judgment; modification; effect.

The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court may, on its own motion or on the motion of any party, modify or change its findings, order, award, or judgment at any time before appeal and within fourteen days after the date of such findings, order, award, or judgment. The time for appeal shall not be lengthened because of the modification or change unless the correction substantially changes the result of the award.


  • Laws 1935, c. 57, 13, p. 193;
  • C.S.Supp.,1941, 48-174;
  • R.S.1943, 48-180;
  • Laws 1986, LB 811, 113;
  • Laws 1992, LB 360, 22;
  • Laws 2011, LB151, 11.


    The office of an order nunc pro tunc is to correct a record which has been made so that it truly records the actions had, which, through inadvertence or mistake, were not truly recorded. It is not the function of an order nunc pro tunc to change or revise a judgment or order, or to set aside a judgment actually rendered, even though such order was not the order intended. Green v. Drivers Mgmt., Inc., 263 Neb. 197, 639 N.W.2d 94 (2002).

    This section and section 48-170 of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act are clear that if the court fails to modify its order within 10 days and the parties fail to file an application for review within 14 days of the original order, such order becomes final and binding upon the parties. Thach v. Quality Pork International, 253 Neb. 544, 570 N.W.2d 830 (1997).

    In the absence of specific statutory authority to correct an ambiguity by a procedure other than as described in this section, the compensation court does not have authority to enter an order revising one of its awards. Black v. Sioux City Foundry Co., 224 Neb. 824, 401 N.W.2d 679 (1987).

    In Nebraska, in civil cases, a court of general jurisdiction has the inherent power to vacate or modify its own judgment during the term at which it was rendered. This is a common law rule which does not apply to statutory tribunals such as the compensation court. Smith v. Fremont Contract Carriers, 218 Neb. 652, 358 N.W.2d 211 (1984).

    The Workmen's Compensation Court is a tribunal of limited and special jurisdiction and has only such authority as has been conferred on it by statute. A decree or award in a compensation case is final unless the petitioner seeking to reopen the case can bring it within the terms of any statute to that effect. Smith v. Fremont Contract Carriers, 218 Neb. 652, 358 N.W.2d 211 (1984).

    Power is granted to workmen's compensation court to correct ambiguity or clerical error on its own motion. Light v. Nebraska Workmen's Compensation Court, 166 Neb. 540, 89 N.W.2d 833 (1958).

    This section is the statutory embodiment of nunc pro tunc principles, and pursuant to this section, the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court is statutorily authorized to issue proper nunc pro tunc orders. Walsh v. City of Omaha, 11 Neb. App. 747, 660 N.W.2d 187 (2003).

    The Workers' Compensation Court lacks jurisdiction to consider a motion seeking modification of judgment if the motion is filed more than 10 days after entry of the judgment that is to be modified. Dobson-Grosz v. University of Neb. Med. Ctr., 1 Neb. App. 434, 499 N.W.2d 83 (1993).

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