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Alternatives to Formal Proof: Judicial Notice

In court, some proof can be taken for granted. Ordinary language certain is taken for granted, as are ordinary ways of thinking. Additionally, judicial notice, which is a short cut for doing away with the formal necessity for evidence because there is no real necessity for it, can be taken of something commonly known. In Varcoe v. Lee, the defendant argued that the prosecution had not entered evidence that the place he hit a girl was a business district. This is important because there was a statute saying one could only drive 15 mph in a business district and that failing to do so made one liable for negligence as a matter of law. The justices said the requirements for judicial notice are: that it be well established and authoritatively settles, be practically indisputable, and that this common, general, and certain knowledge exist in the particular jurisdiction. According to Rule 201 of the FRE, judicial notice can be taken: When it’s generally known within the jurisdiction, and when it’s capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.

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August 30, 2007 - Posted by | Evidence

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