Sunday, October 14, 2012

MBE Fast Fact: Judicial Notice

Judicial notice (not heavily tested, but it does show up) is a substitute for evidence. The court will accept certain matters as true without the need for formal proof. Judicial notice is deemed either discretionary (permissive) or mandatory. Discretionary judicial notice include the following: laws of foreign countries, regulations of private agencies, municipal ordinances, and matters of local geography. Mandatory judicial notice, on the other hand, include federal and state law, and indisputable/scientific propositions.

A court cannot instruct the jury in a criminal case that it must accept as conclusive any fact judicially noticed. Rather, in a criminal case, the court will instruct the jury that it may accept as conclusive any fact judicially noticed. In contrast, in a civil action, the court will instruct the jury that it must accept as conclusive any fact judicially noticed.


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