Rule 44. Proof of official record.

(a) Authentication of copy. An official record or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and in the absence of judicial knowledge or competent evidence, accompanied with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is within the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the dominion of the United States, the certificate may be made by a judge of a court of record of the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of the court, or may be made by any public officer having a seal of office and having official duties in the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of his office. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign state or country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed in the foreign state or country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office.

(b) Proof of lack of record. A written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry.

(c) Other proof. This rule does not prevent the proof of official records or of entry or lack of entry therein by any method authorized by any applicable statute or by the rules of evidence at common law.

(d) Certified copy of record read in evidence. A copy of any official record, or entry therein, in the custody of a public officer of this state, or of the United States, certified by the officer having custody thereof, to be a full, true and correct copy of the original in his custody, may be read in evidence in an action or proceeding in the courts of this state, in like manner and with like effect as the original could be if produced.

(e) Official record defined. As used in this rule "official record" shall mean all public writings, including laws, judicial records, all official documents, and public records of private writings.

(f) Proof of the law of another state, territory or foreign country. A printed copy of a statute, or other written law of another state, or of a territory, or of a foreign country, or a printed copy of a proclamation, edict, decree or ordinance by the executive power thereof, contained in a book or publication purporting or proved to have been published by the authority thereof, or proved to be commonly admitted as evidence of the existing law of the judicial tribunals thereof, is presumptive evidence of the statute, law, proclamation, edict, decree or ordinance. The unwritten or common law of another state, or of a territory, or of a foreign country, may be proved as a fact by oral evidence. The books of reports of cases adjudged in the courts thereof must also be admitted as presumptive evidence of the unwritten or common law thereof. The law of such state or territory or foreign country is to be determined by the court or master and included in the findings of the court or master or instructions to the jury, as the case may be. Such finding or instruction is subject to review. In determining such law, neither the trial court nor the Supreme Court shall be limited to the evidence produced on the trial by the parties, but may consult any of the written authorities above named in this subdivision, with the same force and effect as if the same had been admitted in evidence.