Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Judicial Notice — Factual Findings of Other Courts

Federal Rule of Evidence 201(b) provides that courts may take judicial notice of adjudicative facts outside the trial record only if they are "not subject to reasonable dispute." The plaintiffs in Mississippi State Democratic Party v. Barbour, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41908 (N.D. Miss. June 8, 2007), moved the Court to take judicial notice of approximately 28 pages of factual findings regarding the history of voting in Mississippi, largely focused on racially discriminatory voting practices. District Judge W. Allen Pepper ruled that it was ‛inappropriate to take judicial notice of factual findings of other courts.“ This is a proposition that has widespread support. See, e.g., Toth v. Auto. Club of Cal. Long Term Disability Plan, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40746 (C.D. Cal. 2005), quoting Rudd v. Beverly Enterprises — Mississippi, Inc., 390 F.3d 400, 408, n. 7 (5th Cir. 2004) (‛Although we cannot take judicial notice of findings of fact of other courts, the fact that a judicial action was taken is indisputable and is therefore amenable to judicial notice“); Morrissey v. Luzern County Cmty. Coll., 117 Fed. Appx. 809 (3d Cir. 2004) (‛A judicially noticed fact must either be generally known within the jurisdiction of the trial court, or be capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned... Facts adjudicated in a prior case fall short of this standard.“) (unpublished); Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Rotches Pork Packers, Inc., 969 F.2d 1384 (2d Cir. 1992) ("Facts adjudicated in a prior case do not meet either test of indisputability contained in Rule 201(b)“).

Share this article:


Recent Posts