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Rule 201. Judicial Noticeof Adjudicative Facts

 

(a)   Scope.This rule governsjudicial notice of an adjudicative fact only, not a legislative fact.

 

(b)   Kindsof Facts That May Be Judicially Noticed. The court may judicially notice a fact that is not subjectto reasonable dispute because it:

 

(1)   is generally known within the trialcourt’s territorial jurisdiction; or

 

(2)   can be accurately and readily determined from sourceswhose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.

 

(c)   TakingNotice. The court:

(1)   maytake judicial notice on its own; or

 

(2)   musttake judicial notice if a party requests it and the court is supplied with thenecessary information.

 

(d)      Timing. The court may take judicial notice atany stage of the proceeding.

 

(e)   Opportunityto Be Heard. Ontimely request, a party is entitled to be heard on the propriety of takingjudicial notice and the nature of the fact to be noticed. If the court takesjudicial notice before notifying a party, the party, on request, is stillentitled to be heard.

 

(f)    Instructingthe Jury. In a civilcase, the court must instruct the jury to accept the noticed fact asconclusive. In a criminal case, the court must instruct the jury that it may ormay not accept the noticed fact as conclusive.

 

2011 Advisory CommitteeNote. – The languageof this rule has been amended as part of the restyling of the Evidence Rules tomake them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistentthroughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There isno intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility. Thisrule is the federal rule, verbatim.

 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE NOTE

 

This rule is the federal rule,verbatim, and consolidates the law of judicial notice formerly contained inRules 9 through 12, Utah Rules of Evidence (1971) and in Utah Code Annotated, §78-25-1 (1953) into one broadly defined rule. The Utah Supreme Court has statedthe rule with reference to judicial notice in Little Cottonwood Water Co. v.Kimball, 76 Utah 243, 267, 289 Pac. 116 (1930) where the court stated: "Inshort, a court is presumed to know what every man of ordinary intelligence mustknow about such things." See also DeFusion Co.v. Utah Liquor Control Comm'n, 613 P.2d 1120 (Utah1980).

 

Subdivision (a) "governs onlyjudicial notice of adjudicative facts," and does not deal with instances inwhich a court may notice legislative facts, which is left to the sounddiscretion of trial and appellate courts. Compare Rule 12, Utah Rules ofEvidence (1971). Since legislative facts are matters that go to the policy of arule of law as distinct from the true facts that are used in the adjudicationof a controversy they are not appropriate for a rule of evidence and best leftto the law-making considerations by appellate and trial courts.

 

Subdivision (b) is in accord with theLittle Cottonwood Water Co. case, supra, and the substance of Rule 9(1) and(2), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971). Utah law presumes that the law of anotherjurisdiction is the same as that of the State of Utah and judicial notice hasbeen taken from the law of other states and foreign countries. Lamberth v. Lamberth, 550 P.2d200 (Utah 1976); Maple v. Maple, 566 P.2d 1229 (Utah 1977). The Utah court hastaken judicial notice under Rule 9(2), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971) of therules and regulations of the Tax Commission. Nelson v. State Tax Comm'n, 29 Utah 2d 162, 506 P.2d 437 (1973). The broadlanguage of subdivision (b) is identical to Rule 201 of the Uniform Rules ofEvidence (1974). Judicial notice of foreign law is permissible under this rule.Provisions of this rule supersede Utah Code Annotated, Section 78-25-1 (1953),since the statute is merely illustrative of items encompassed within the broadframework of this rule. The foreign law of some jurisdictions might best beleft to proof through witnesses if the resort to sources available in the Stateof Utah is questionable.

 

Subdivision (c) is discretionary, butsubdivision (d) requires the court to take judicial notice if requested by aparty and if supplied with the necessary information to make a determination ofwhether to take judicial notice. Compare Rules 9(2) and 10(3), Utah Rules ofEvidence (1971). The committee believes that Rule 201(d) simplifies the processof taking judicial notice of adjudicative facts by making it mandatory when aparty makes a request therefor and supplies the courtwith the necessary information.

 

Subdivision (e) is similar to Rule10(1), (2) and (3), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971).

 

Subdivision (g) is in accord with Rule11, Utah Rules of Evidence (1971). The provision that in a criminal case thecourt shall instruct the jury that it may but is not required to accept asconclusive any fact judicially noticed has no counterpart in Utah Rules ofEvidence (1971). Accord, State v. Lawrence, 120 Utah 323, 234 P.2d 600 (1951).See also Amendment VI, Constitution of the United States.