In the absence of prior notification, the request may be made after judicial notice has been taken. In a criminal case, the court shall instruct the jury that it may, but is not required to, accept as conclusive any fact judicially noticed.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules Subdivision a: This is the only evidence rule on the subject of judicial notice. It deals only with judicial notice of "adjudicative" facts. No rule deals with judicial notice of "legislative" facts. Judicial notice of matters of foreign law is treated in Rule The omission of any treatment of legislative facts results from fundamental differences between adjudicative facts and legislative facts.
Adjudicative facts are simply the facts of the particular case. Legislative facts, on the other hand, are those which have relevance to legal reasoning and the lawmaking process, whether in the formulation of a legal principle or ruling by a judge or court or in the enactment of a legislative body.
The following discussion draws extensively upon his writings. In addition, see the same author's Judicial Notice, 55 Colum. The usual method of establishing adjudicative facts in through the introduction of evidence, ordinarily consisting of the testimony of witnesses.
If particular facts are outside of the area of reasonable controversy, this process is dispensed with as unnecessary. A high degree of indisputability is the essential prerequisite.
Legislative facts are quite different. As Professor Davis says: An illustration is Hawkins v. United States , U. If the destructive effect of the giving of adverse testimony by a spouse is not indisputable, should the Court have refrained from considering it in the absence of supporting evidence? What the law needs as its growing points is more, not less, judicial thinking about the factual ingredients of problems of what the law ought to be, and the needed facts are seldom 'clearly' indisputable.
He may reject the propositions of either party or of both parties. He may consult the sources of pertinent data to which they refer, or he may refuse to do so. He may make an independent search for persuasive data or rest content with what he has or what the parties present … [T]he parties do no more than to assist; they control no part of the process.
This is the view which should govern judicial access to legislative facts. It renders inappropriate any limitation in the form of indisputability, any formal requirements of notice other than those already inherent in affording opportunity to hear and be heard and exchanging briefs, and any requirement of formal findings at any level. It should, however, leave open the possibility of introducing evidence through regular channels in appropriate situations.
See Borden's Farm Products Co. Baldwin , U. Similar considerations govern the judicial use of nonadjudicative facts in ways other than formulating laws and rules. Thayer described them as a part of the judicial reasoning process. As Professor Davis points out, A System of Judicial Notice Based on Fairness and Convenience, in Perspectives of Law 69, 73 , every case involves the use of hundreds or thousands of non-evidence facts.
When a witness in an automobile accident case says "car," everyone, judge and jury included, furnishes, from non-evidence sources within himself, the supplementing information that the "car" is an automobile, not a railroad car, that it is self-propelled, probably by an internal combustion engine, that it may be assumed to have four wheels with pneumatic rubber tires, and so on.
The judicial process cannot construct every case from scratch, like Descartes creating a world based on the postulate Cogito, ergo sum. These items could not possibly be introduced into evidence, and no one suggests that they be. Nor are they appropriate subjects for any formalized treatment of judicial notice of facts.
The Fiction-Science Spectrum, U. Another aspect of what Thayer had in mind is the use of non-evidence facts to appraise or assess the adjudicative facts of the case. Pairs of cases from two jurisdictions illustrate this use and also the difference between non-evidence facts thus used and adjudicative facts.
Strook , Ill. However, the same court subsequently ruled that venue in Cook County was established by testimony that a crime occurred at South Anthony Avenue, since notice would be taken of the common practice of omitting the name of the city when speaking of local addresses, and the witness was testifying in Chicago.
Pride , 16 Ill. And in Hughes v. Vestal , N. Dupree , N. See also Brown v. Hale , N. Rimmer , N. It is apparent that this use of non-evidence facts in evaluating the adjudicative facts of the case is not an appropriate subject for a formalized judicial notice treatment.
In view of these considerations, the regulation of judicial notice of facts by the present rule extends only to adjudicative facts. What, then, are "adjudicative" facts? Davis refers to them as those "which relate to the parties," or more fully: They are the facts that normally go to the jury in a jury case. They relate to the parties, their activities, their properties, their businesses.
With respect to judicial notice of adjudicative facts, the tradition has been one of caution in requiring that the matter be beyond reasonable controversy. This tradition of circumspection appears to be soundly based, and no reason to depart from it is apparent.
The reason we require a determination on the record is that we think fair procedure in resolving disputes of adjudicative facts calls for giving each party a chance to meet in the appropriate fashion the facts that come to the tribunal's attention, and the appropriate fashion for meeting disputed adjudicative facts includes rebuttal evidence, cross-examination, usually confrontation, and argument either written or oral or both.
The key to a fair trial is opportunity to use the appropriate weapons rebuttal evidence, cross-examination, and argument to meet adverse materials that come to the tribunal's attention.
The rule proceeds upon the theory that these considerations call for dispensing with traditional methods of proof only in clear cases. Compare Professor Davis' conclusion that judicial notice should be a matter of convenience, subject to requirements of procedural fairness.
This rule is consistent with Uniform Rule 9 1 and 2 which limit judicial notice of facts to those "so universally known that they cannot reasonably be the subject of dispute," those "so generally known or of such common notoriety within the territorial jurisdiction of the court that they cannot reasonably be the subject of dispute," and those "capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to easily accessible sources of indisputable accuracy.
The California draftsmen, with a background of detailed statutory regulation of judicial notice, followed a somewhat similar pattern. The Uniform Rules, however, were drafted on the theory that these particular matters are included within the general categories and need no specific mention. This approach is followed in the present rule.
The phrase "propositions of generalized knowledge," found in Uniform Rule 9 1 and 2 is not included in the present rule. It was, it is believed, originally included in Model Code Rules and primarily in order to afford some minimum recognition to the right of the judge in his "legislative" capacity not acting as the trier of fact to take judicial notice of very limited categories of generalized knowledge.
The limitations thus imposed have been discarded herein as undesirable, unworkable, and contrary to existing practice. What is left, then, to be considered, is the status of a "proposition of generalized knowledge" as an "adjudicative" fact to be noticed judicially and communicated by the judge to the jury.
Thus viewed, it is considered to be lacking practical significance. While judges use judicial notice of "propositions of generalized knowledge" in a variety of situations: When judicial notice is seen as a significant vehicle for progress in the law, these are the areas involved, particularly in developing fields of scientific knowledge.
It is not believed that judges now instruct juries as to "propositions of generalized knowledge" derived from encyclopedias or other sources, or that they are likely to do so, or, indeed, that it is desirable that they do so. There is a vast difference between ruling on the basis of judicial notice that radar evidence of speed is admissible and explaining to the jury its principles and degree of accuracy, or between using a table of stopping distances of automobiles at various speeds in a judicial evaluation of testimony and telling the jury its precise application in the case.
For cases raising doubt as to the propriety of the use of medical texts by lay triers of fact in passing on disability claims in administrative proceedings, see Sayers v. Gardner , F. Celebrezze , F. Ribicoff , F. Subdivisions c and d: Under subdivision c the judge has a discretionary authority to take judicial notice, regardless of whether he is so requested by a party.
The taking of judicial notice is mandatory, under subdivision d , only when a party requests it and the necessary information is supplied. This scheme is believed to reflect existing practice. It is simple and workable.
It avoids troublesome distinctions in the many situations in which the process of taking judicial notice is not recognized as such. Compare Uniform Rule 9 making judicial notice of facts universally known mandatory without request, and making judicial notice of facts generally known in the jurisdiction or capable of determination by resort to accurate sources discretionary in the absence of request but mandatory if request is made and the information furnished.
But see Uniform Rule 10 3 , which directs the judge to decline to take judicial notice if available information fails to convince him that the matter falls clearly within Uniform Rule 9 or is insufficient to enable him to notice it judicially.
In contrast, the present rule treats alike all adjudicative facts which are subject to judicial notice. Basic considerations of procedural fairness demand an opportunity to be heard on the propriety of taking judicial notice and the tenor of the matter noticed.
The rule requires the granting of that opportunity upon request. No formal scheme of giving notice is provided. An adversely affected party may learn in advance that judicial notice is in contemplation, either by virtue of being served with a copy of a request by another party under subdivision d that judicial notice be taken, or through an advance indication by the judge.
Or he may have no advance notice at all. The likelihood of the latter is enhanced by the frequent failure to recognize judicial notice as such. And in the absence of advance notice, a request made after the fact could not in fairness be considered untimely. See the provision for hearing on timely request in the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U. In accord with the usual view, judicial notice may be taken at any stage of the proceedings, whether in the trial court or on appeal.
Much of the controversy about judicial notice has centered upon the question whether evidence should be admitted in disproof of facts of which judicial notice is taken. The writers have been divided. The Model Code and the Uniform Rules are predicated upon indisputability of judicially noticed facts. The proponents of admitting evidence in disproof have concentrated largely upon legislative facts.