Judicial Notice of Internet Evidence — Online State Licensing Records Properly Subject to Judicial Notice

Sterling Trust v. Edwards, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2885 (Cal. Ct. App. April 23, 2014):

In his declaration filed in support of the motion for summary judgment Hensel stated that he was "the President of Hensel  [*13] Financial" and that "Hensel Financial has been, and is still, licensed as a California corporate real estate broker, License #0834600." Hensel further stated in his declaration that in his individual capacity he was "licensed by the California Department of Real Estate as a real estate broker, License #00710033."

Edwards objected to the declaration, based upon the fact that no copy of Hensel's license was provided.

The court overruled Edwards's objection.

Plaintiffs also filed a request for judicial notice of online licensing information from the California Department of Real Estate. In that request for judicial notice Hensel stated that "[t]he California Department of Real Estate online records are available public records which the plaintiffs did not need to request the court to take judicial notice of because Hensel could provide, and did provide, testimony as to these undisputed facts through his personal knowledge. [¶] Nevertheless, plaintiffs have attached as Exhibit 11 and Exhibit 12 to their Request for Judicial Notice, filed concurrently herewith, copies of the California Department of Real Estate, online licensing information, for Hensel and Hensel Financial, which reflect Hensel  [*14] is, and has been, a licensed real estate broker since January 13, 1981 and Hensel Financial is, and has been, a licensed real estate broker since April 15, 1982."

Edwards objected to the request for judicial notice. The objection was based on the fact that the documents taken from the Internet were not authenticated.

The court granted Hensel's request for judicial notice.

2. Analysis

It is of no moment that the court granted Hensel's request for judicial notice because Hensel's declaration itself established that he and Hensel Financial were licensed real estate brokers. Hensel has personal knowledge of those facts and thus his declaration was competent evidence of licensure.

Moreover, the online licensing documents were matters of which the court could properly take judicial notice. (See Elmore v. Oak Valley Hospital Dist. (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 716, 722 [judicial notice of a statement of identity filed by a hospital with the Secretary of State was proper].)

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