TOOL OF THE DAY: Judicial Notice
CATEGORY: Family Law Definition
Judicial notice is a term used to enter evidence in bulk and to save time. It is not the same thing as entering your exhibits in bulk during trial, since you still have to use your exhibits to prove something in your case. When you take judicial notice you are getting the court to agree that what they are accepting on the record is already proven to be factual and true.
Although taking judicial notice of your entire file can be used to save time, it can also be used in a way that might disadvantage you so be very careful. In fact, you could disadvantage yourself if you ask a judge to take judicial notice of your entire file and didn’t pay attention to every detail in that file. If there is anything in there that you might have wanted to argue still, then don’t ask for the entire file to be accepted that way.
It is worth it to take the time to itemize the things is well-known and an indisputable fact; make a list and present that as the things you want the court to take judicial notice on. An example of things that would be indisputable and well-known would be things like a person’s date of birth, basic mathematical facts**, a surgery someone might have had that has already been proven in another hearing, a motion or pleading that no one objected to with affidavits, a day of the week that corresponds to a date on the calendar, etc. that you want to get into the record without having to go through entering them formally, etc.
Once you do this properly, this can actually be a very effective tool. If the other side has not done their homework you actually might be able to get something on the record that they didn’t object to and now you can use it as factual and move on to the next exhibit to nail that issue home and prevail on what you were trying to prove in order to get what you want out of the court.
You might also try getting the court to take judicial notice of your parental rights as stated in the case law that you are using to support your case.
“In the United States, Article II of the Federal Rules of Evidence (“FRE”) addresses judicial notice in federal courts, and this article is widely copied by U.S. States. FRE 201(b)) permit judges to take judicial notice of two categories of facts:
- Those that are “generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court” (e.g. locations of streets within the court’s jurisdiction) or
- Those that are “capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned” (e.g. the day of the week on a certain date).
The FRE also notes that judicial notice may be permissive or mandatory. If it is permissive, then the court may choose to take judicial notice of the fact proffered, or may reject the request and require the party to introduce evidence in support of the point. If it is mandatory, then the court must take judicial notice of the fact proffered. Although the FRE does not expand upon the kinds of facts that would fall into one category or another, courts have ruled that judicial notice must be taken of federal public laws and treaties, state public laws, and official regulations of both federal and local government agencies.“* (emphasis added)
Take Care and see you back here tomorrow!
Read our book for citations of specific cases that you can use in your arguments to the court when you are arguing for the proper protection of your family rights.[CLICK HERE to get the Parental Rights book “NOT in The Child’s Best Interest.]
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Strategic Parental Rights Strategist, Instructor, Constitutional Scholar, and Author
Divorce Solutions and Child Custody Solutions
Co-author “Not in the Child’s Best Interest” (Book on parental rights and children’s rights)
Co-author “Protecting Parent-Child Bonds: 28th Amendment” (Book includes guide for legislators)
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