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Rule 184a. Judicial Notice of Law of Other States, Etc.
The judge may of his own motion, and upon the motion of either party shall, take judicial notice of the common law, public statutes, and court decisions of every other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States, provided that the Judge shall inform the parties of the tenor of such matter to be judicially noticed by him, and afford each of them a reasonable opportunity to present to him information relevant to the propriety of taking such judicial knowledge or to the tenor of the matter to be noticed. Any party requesting that judicial notice be taken of such matter shall furnish the judge sufficient information to enable him to properly comply with the request, and shall give each adverse party such notice, if any, as the judge may deem necessary, to enable the adverse party to fairly prepare to meet such request. The rulings of the judge on such matters shall be subject to review, and the reviewing court, in its discretion, may take judicial notice of the matters herein provided for, whether or not they were judicially noticed by the trial judge.
Source: American Law Institute, Code of Evidence, Rules 801 to 806, inclusive.
June 16, 1943, eff. Dec. 31, 1943.
Oct. 10, 1945,eff. Feb. 1, 1946
Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984
July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Corrected and clarified by order of Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.
Repealed by order of April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990: It is covered by Rule 203, Texas Rules of Civil Evidence.
(No. 100) Question: Is Rule 184a, which becomes effective at the beginning of 1944 and has regard to judicial notice of foreign law, a rule of evidence so that the foreign law must be pleaded or else be presumed to be the same as the law of Texas, or is it a rule of law to the extent that such presumption is eliminated?
Answer: Pleading of the law of the foreign states and other jurisdictions referred to in Rule 184a is not necessary. If the trial court takes judicial notice in such a case, the parties must be either movants therefor or put on notice beforehand as required in the rule. If they so move or are put on notice, the trial judge may consider the matter and come to a conclusion upon it. In the absence of the indicated procedure the ordinary rule heretofore obtaining in Texas will apply; that is, that the law of Texas will govern. In the absence of the condition which sets in force the exception, the Texas common law rule will apply. See Prudential Ins. Co. v. Shumaker, 178 Md. 189, 12 A.2d 618 (1940); McCormick and Ray on Evidence, Sec. 58; and Rule 184.6 Tex. B.J. 500 (1943) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 37 (1945).
Question: Does Rule 184a change the law as it existed prior to the effective date of the rules, with reference to a state court taking judicial notice of federal statutes, federal decisions, rules, regulations and proclamations, including those of federal boards and bureaus?
Answer: Prior to the effective date of the rules, the state courts could under the law take judicial notice of federal statutes and decisions but could not take judicial notice of the common law, public statutes or court decisions of other states or territories. The purpose of the rule was to make it possible for state courts to take such judicial notice of the laws of other states, and in the opinion of the committee such rule was not intended to, nor does it, change any law existing covering judicial notice of federal statutes and decisions. The words "judicial notice of the common law, public statutes and court decisions of every other state, territory or jurisdiction of the United States" used in the Rule relate to governmental units of the United States, such as a state, territory, District of Columbia and non-territorial islands of the United States. The intent to exclude from the Rule the United States, proper is further shown by the use of the words "common law," since it is settled that there is no common law of the United States. As stated, the sole purpose of the Rule was to permit the courts of this state to take judicial notice of the common law, public statutes or court decisions of other states or territories, and not to change the rule with respect to judicial notice of federal statutes and decisions.
8 Tex. B.J. 174 (1945).