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Judicial Notice Questions

Judicial notice is the determination of the judge as to what is allowed as evidence. Judicial notice applies facts that are considered common knowledge or information that can be verified by checking a reference book, encyclopedia, or dictionary or an Expert in the situation at hand. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding judicial notice that have been answered by Experts.

Can one ask the United States Supreme Court to take judicial notice and if so what are the rules for asking?

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence - Rule 201, the federal courts can take judicial notice of facts under the following circumstances:

(b) Kinds of Facts That May Be Judicially Noticed. The court may judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it:

(1) Is generally known within the trial court’s territorial jurisdiction; or

(2) Can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.

And the federal court can take judicial notice of a fact in the following manner as set forth in subdivision (c):

(c) Taking Notice. The court:

(1) May take judicial notice on its own; or

(2) Must take judicial notice if a party requests it and the court are supplied with the necessary information.

When you ask the Supreme Court to take judicial notice on something, you are asking the court to make a decision (or adjudicate) facts which the Supreme Court doesn't do. The Supreme Court uses the facts that have already been adjudicated from the lower court and determines issues of law. Because of this, the Supreme Court isn't likely to take judicial notice of something that had not already been presented in the lower court.

Would it be appropriate to request the court to take Judicial Notice either before or after the hearing?

You can ask the court to take judicial notice during the hearing. This can be done in the middle of the trial without giving any notice to the opposing side. This is a very common occurrence that is generally done orally without the need to file a motion. In many courts, the judge will request that you wait until trial to request the judicial notice. If this happens, don't argue with the judge.

I want to submit a Mandatory Judicial Notice to a judge and supply the necessary resources. Can I simply just submit the Mandatory Judicial Notice by naming it something like "Plaintiff's First Mandatory Judicial Notice"?

Generally, a person wouldn't have to file a written motion. When requesting a judicial notice, the request is almost always done orally. This doesn't mean that you couldn't have a written request. If you write the request, you should title it "Request for Judicial Notice" instead of using mandatory. It generally isn't good practice to tell a judge that they have to do something. Using mandatory tends to give the idea that you are giving the judge no choice in the matter.

I believe that only five states give Judicial Notice to the workings and accuracy of moving radar.. Would the prosecution need to supply an expert witness to testify if requested by the defense?

There are several states that give judicial notice to the workings and accuracy of moving radar. Actually, 15-18 states give judicial notice. While an expert witness isn't required, they will have to prove the certification of the officer, showing that he/she is a trained operator of the moving radar. The officer will have to show that the radar was in proper working order and it was tested before and after his/her shift. The prosecution will be expected to provide the current certification on the unit which is renewed yearly.

Judicial notice is rules of evidence that allows a fact to be entered as evidence if it is a common known fact or something that can be proven by an expert source. To learn more about judicial notice you should ask an Expert who can lend legal insight on how judicial notice works in the court system.
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