Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Judicial Notice of Internet Archive Evidence (Wayback Machine) and of Government Website Data


Puerto Rico v. Shell Oil Co. (In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether “MTBE” Prods. Liab. Litig.), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181837, at *17-18 n. 65 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 30, 2013):

Moreover, a review of the EIA [Energy Information Administration] website reports would have revealed that Vitol S.A. was importing gasoline in Puerto Rico as early as 2003.62 The Commonwealth argues that the EIA reports are inadmissible, improperly authenticated, and irrelevant if, in fact, they were not publicly available before counsel for Vitol downloaded them in September 2013.63 The Commonwealth is incorrect. Courts routinely take judicial notice of data on government websites because it is presumed authentic and reliable.64 A search for the relevant EIA reports using an internet archive shows that they were available at least as early as November 2009.65 As such, I take judicial notice of the EIA reports. Thus, the Commonwealth's claims against the Vitol Defendants are barred by the one year statute of limitations because the Commonwealth had sufficient knowledge of both the alleged injury and the identity of the alleged tortfeasors as of 2007.

62   See Screenshot from EIA website at 1.

63   See Pl. Opp. to Vitol at 5-6.

64   See Denius v. Dunlap, 330 F.3d 919, 926 (7th Cir. 2003) (concluding that a district court may take judicial notice of information on an official government website); Kramer v. Time Warner Inc., 937 F.2d 767, 774 (2d Cir. 1991) (holding that district courts may take judicial notice of the contents of certain public records); Brooklyn Heights Ass'n, Inc. v. National Park Service, 777 F. Supp. 2d 424, 432 n.6 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (taking judicial notice of a city park website).

65   See Vitol Defendants' Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment and Objection to Summary Judgment Evidence ("Vitol Reply") at 4 (citing website known as the "Internet Archive"). Courts have taken judicial notice of the contents of internet archives. See ... Martins v. 3PD, Inc., No. 11 Civ. 11313, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45753, 2013 WL 1320454, at *16 n.8 (D. Mass. Mar. 28, 2013) (taking judicial notice of "the various historical versions of a website available on the Internet Archive at as facts readily determinable by resort to a source whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned").

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