Judicial Notice Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Judicial Notice, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Judicial Notice?

Court of law is based on facts that needs to be proved. But if all the facts are to be proved, it would take months and years to solve a simplest of case. Thus a certain assumptions and acceptance of the facts are considered as being common knowledge and if it has been gathered from the guaranteed sources like court records, government records for timing of sunset and rise etc.Those are kown as judicial notice which then does not require any official proof of the fact..

History and Definition of Judicial Notice

Judicial Notice is a legal concept that allows courts to recognize certain facts as true without requiring further evidence. Basically, it is a rule by which a court will accept a certain fact as 'true' under certain circumstances without requiring the parties to provide any evidence to prove it. One example of such facts include scientific facts or commonly known facts about history, geography, and language.

The concept of Judicial Notice has its roots in English common law where certain facts were considered well-known and indisputable. The current definition of Judicial Notice as understood in the United States is that a court can take judicial notice of facts that are not subject to reasonable dispute and are either generally known within the geographic area or can be accurately determined from sources that cannot be reasonably questioned.

Examples of Judicial Notice

  1. The fact that 1 pound is equal to 16 ounces is a commonly known fact that the court can take judicial notice of
  2. The location of a particular town or city can be determined from an official government record that the court can take judicial notice of
  3. A court can take judicial notice of the fact that the earth revolves around the sun

Legal Terms Similar to Judicial Notice

  1. Stare Decisis: It is a legal doctrine where a court will rely on past decisions made by the same or higher courts when making its judgment.
  2. Res Judicata: It is a doctrine that prevents the same case or issue from being brought to court, once it has already been resolved by the court.
  3. Hearsay: In contrast to judicial notice, hearsay is evidence given by a witness who heard someone else say something - this is typically not admissible evidence, but there are some exceptions.