LAW 545-001 – Evidence
- Scope. This rule governs judicial notice of an adjudicative fact only, not a legislative fact.
- Kinds of Facts That May Be Judicially Noticed. The court may judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it:
- is generally known within the trial court’s territorial jurisdiction; or
- can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.
- Taking Notice. The court:
- Timing. The court may take judicial notice at any stage of the proceeding.
- Opportunity to Be Heard. On timely request, a party is entitled to be heard on the propriety of taking judicial notice and the nature of the fact to be noticed. If the court takes judicial notice before notifying a party, the party, on request, is still entitled to be heard.
- Instructing the Jury. In a civil case, the court must instruct the jury to accept the noticed fact as conclusive. In a criminal case, the court must instruct the jury that it may or may not accept the noticed fact as conclusive.
Interpreting statutes or common law is a legislative decision, where the judge is unlimited.
The sources must actually state the information. Assumptions cannot be made thereupon. (One can notice that it rained that day, but not that the pavement was wet.)
Subsection (d) does not apply in criminal cases for some reason.