42-31. Trial by magistrate.

If the defendant by his answer denies any material allegation in the oath of the plaintiff, the magistrate shall hear the evidence and give judgment as he shall find the facts to be. (1868-9, c. 156, s. 23; Code, s. 1770; Rev., s. 2005; C.S., s. 2370; 1971, c. 533, s. 6.)