Use Judicial Notice Motions!
( From "How to Win in Court" Course )
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Why bother struggling to prove obvious facts?
Every court (state or federal) provides a method for getting around the necessity of proving obvious facts.
This method is called "Judicial Notice". The process is covered completely in my affordable step-by-step 24-hour Jurisdictionary self-help course, but I'll tell you a little bit in this Tips & Tactics!
The process is simple.
You should always use it when you can!
You can make opponents' legal bullets bounce off your chest once the court takes judicial notice of an obvious fact, because the court's order settles the issue ... PERIOD!
Obvious facts don't have to be "proven", if you can get the court to enter an order taking judicial notice of them.
You can move the court to enter an order taking judicial notice in writing or you can move the court by voice in the courtrooom.
Vocal motions are called ore tenus motions.
Written motions are always best (because they become part of the written record of the case without paying a court reporter to provide a transcript) but if you're caught at a hearing and need to do so, make an ore tenus motion (i.e., a spoken motion) and be prepared to back it up by showing that the fact you want noticed is "obvious".
I'll explain by telling a true story, but to learn the rest of the story you'll need to order my affordable step-by-step 24-hour Jurisdictionary self-help course!
If was nearly 25 years ago when I was just beginning my career as a licensed attorney. My client was suing her former landlord to recover her security deposit. The mean old landlord claimed she damaged his property by cutting down a tree in the backyard.
The tree was a Brazilian Pepper tree, a nuisance plant here in Florida. The tree is related to poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac. It's really more of a bush than a tree, though they grow quite large here in the Sunshine State. The University of Florida reports some people express respiratory problems associated with the bloom period of the tree, while others suffer from dermatitis after contact.
The State of Florida has even developed a detailed management plan for the pest plant, including creation of a Brazilian Pepper Task Force!
So, here I was arguing for my client at a hearing to get her deposit back from her stupid, greedy landlord looking to make a fast buck by playing on the ignorance of others.
Of course I had a court reporter with me, taking down every word said by me, my client, the landlord, and the judge. That's why I won more often than others. Making a record is essential to victory (even though it does cost a bit to pay the court reporter to attend).
My client and I came to the hearing with photographs of the inside of the house she'd been renting to show how she had re-painted, cleaned the oven, scrubbed the floors, and left the place immaculate. That's what we thought the landlord's defense was: that she'd left the place a mess. When I saw her photographs (and the fact that her friend had taken the pictures, a friend we brought with us to testify to the accuracy of the pictures, if necessary) it seemed obvious to me we would win hands down.
Then the landlord starts whining about his lovely tree in the backyard and how my client had so rudely and without his permission cut it to the ground and dragged the branches out to the street for the city trash collectors to take them away.
By some stroke of God's Grace I'd recently read of the Brazilian Pepper and health problems it was causing, so I simply said, "Your honor, I move the court for an order taking judicial notice that the Brazilian Pepper has been adjudged a nuisance plant in Florida and therefore has no commercial value to justify the landlord's witholding my client's security deposit."
What happened next was wonderful. The judge smiled, evidently pleased at the opportunity I presented for him to tell us what he knew of this pesky bush. He leaned back in his giant leather-backed chair and actually put his hands behind his head as if he were going to tell a long story to his grandchildren. And, what a story it was. He went on for at least 10 minutes about the problems he and his family had and the concern officials have with the invasion of this plant from Argentina where it was seen as an attractive ornamental. He talked about rashes on his own hands received from whacking away at the menace in his own backyard.
Then, suddenly, he leaned forward in his chair, turned toward the landlord with a menacing leer and pronounced, "Motion granted. Judgment for the plaintiff."
So, my client got her deposit money, and I learned a valuable lesson you would do well to learn for yourself.
If a fact is commonly known, you can move the court to enter an order taking judicial notice of the fact - and then you need not struggle to prove the fact. It is a fact for all purposes throughout the remainder of the case!
Of course, like all other motions, the best way to make them is to write them on paper, file the original with the clerk, serve a copy on the opposing party, prepare a proposed order granting your motion, and set a hearing to argue your motion and get your proposed order signed.
I show you how step-by-step in my affordable 24-hour Jurisdictionary "How to Win in Court" self-help course!
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