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Judicial Notice Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Judical Notice. For more information about judicial notice see the pages on Wikipedia.

Judicial Notice-Statutes

See Va. Code § 8.01-386 indicating that court shall take judicial notice of all law, statutory or otherwise.


See Va. Code § 8.01-389 indicating that official records of any court shall be received as prima facie evidence if certified.

Judicial Notice-Cases

1984 State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Powell, 227 Va. 492, 318 S.E.2d 393.

Parties reached stipulation as to facts. Trial court took judicial notice sua sponte of additional facts not included in stipulation. This was error.

1979 Noll v. Rahal, 219 Va. 795, 250 S.E.2d 741.

Judicial notice cannot be taken of fact that medical communities of Richmond/Henrico and Fairfax County are “similar” because such fact is not commonly known from human experience and must be proved.

1976 Chavez v. Continental Ins. Co., 218 Va. 76, 235 S.E.2d 335.

Reference to 166 Va. 147 where court stated it was common knowledge that loss of use of hand did not wholly incapacitate man from engaging in any occupation.

1975 Logan v. Montgomery Ward, 216 Va. 425, 219 S.E.2d 685.

Common knowledge that normally gas ranges are properly and safely manufactured, installed and operated without any malfunction or incident.

1971 Plummer v. Commonwealth, 211 Va. 706, 180 S.E.2d 519.

While it is well settled that appellate court will take judicial notice of its own records, it is equally well settled that it is without authority to take such notice of records of lower court.

1969 Whitfield v. Whittaker Mem. Hosp., 210 Va. 176, 169 S.E.2d 563.

Courts may take judicial notice of facts which are commonly known from human experience, but facts which are not judicially cognizable must be proved, even though known to judge as individual.

1966 Meade v. Meade, 206 Va. 823, 147 S.E.2d 171.

It is matter of common knowledge that operator of motor vehicle may become incompetent and reckless from intoxication.

1966 Smith v. Prater, 206 Va. 693, 146 S.E.2d 179.

Courts take judicial notice of fact that it is impossible to drive auto around curve at high or suddenly accelerated rate of speed without going off traffic lane or sliding or causing passengers to shift in their seats.

1963 Weddle v. Draper, 204 Va. 319, 130 S.E.2d 462.

When cars collide with great force, course of travel they take afterwards very often seemingly defies all laws of physics.

1963 Smith v. VEPCO, 204 Va. 128, 129 S.E.2d 655.

It is matter of common knowledge that electrical energy is dangerous.

1959 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Hagy, 201 Va. 183, 110 S.E.2d 177.

It is common knowledge that at five to six mph vehicle can be stopped almost instantly.

1959 Ruett v. Nottingham, 200 Va. 722, 107 S.E.2d 402.

It is matter of common knowledge that many parents with four-door vehicles permit their children to ride in back seat.

1958 Brooks v. Hufham, 200 Va. 488, 106 S.E.2d 631.

Judicial notice. It is matter of common knowledge that if automobile traveling at 55 mph or less gets out of control it may behave in manner which seemingly defies all laws of physics.

1958 Sisk v. Town of Shenandoah, 200 Va. 277, 105 S.E.2d 169.

Court of record may not take judicial notice of municipal ordinances but municipal courts may.

1958 Barnes v. Barnes, 199 Va. 903, 103 S.E.2d 199.

It is matter of common knowledge that if automobile traveling at 55 mph or less gets out of control it may behave in manner which seemingly defies all laws of physics and may be completely demolished when it strikes immovable object.

1957 Watson v. VEPCO, 199 Va. 570, 100 S.E.2d 774.

It has long been recognized that danger of electrical energy is matter of common knowledge to all persons of ordinary knowledge and experience.

1955 Marshall v. Shaw, 196 Va. 678, 85 S.E.2d 223.

Judicial notice.It is common knowledge that use of intoxicants may affect or influence manner in which one operates automobile.

1953 Crocker v. WTAR, 194 Va. 572, 74 S.E.2d 51.

It is matter of common knowledge that difference in floor level is not so easily observed by one about to step down as it is by one about to step up.

1952 Hardiman v. Dyson, 194 Va. 116, 72 S.E.2d 361.

Judicial notice.It is matter of common knowledge that lights of approaching autos interfere with normal vision and that it is difficult to observe person dressed in dark clothes on black surface highway.

1952 Carr v. Patram, 193 Va. 604, 70 S.E.2d 308.

Common knowledge that if auto at 55 mph or less gets out of control it may behave in manner that may seemingly defy all laws of physics.

1952 New Bay Shore Corp. v. Lewis, 193 Va. 400, 69 S.E.2d 320.

Judicial notice.It is matter of common knowledge that merry-go-round is maintained primarily for amusement of children.

1952 Virginian Ry. v. Craighead, 193 Va. 300, 68 S.E.2d 647.

Common knowledge that train whistle or bell is more easily heard than approaching train and travelers usually heed such warning.

1951 Mitchell v. Wilkerson, 193 Va. 121, 67 S.E.2d 912.

It is matter of common knowledge that frequently several signs for regulation of traffic are placed contiguous to one and another.

1951 Norfolk Belt Line v. Freeman, 192 Va. 400, 64 S.E.2d 732.

It is matter of common knowledge that person’s observation and recollection of swiftly moving events immediately preceding crash in which he is severely injured may be confused and distorted.

1951 Danville & W. Ry. v. Chattin, 192 Va. 216, 64 S.E.2d 748.

It is common knowledge that shrill blast of train whistle or continued ringing of large bell is more easily heard than roar of approaching train.

1951 Richardson v. Commonwealth, 192 Va. 55, 63 S.E.2d 731.

Tractor-trailers create extra danger to other users of highway.

1950 Rice v. Turner, 191 Va. 601, 62 S.E.2d 24.

It is common knowledge that cow at large at night not infrequently becomes scared by glare of headlights and is likely to run into path of auto.

1949 Hall v. Payne, 189 Va. 140, 52 S.E.2d 76.

It is matter of common knowledge that airplanes fall from causes that are not ascertained.

1948 Moore v. Virginia Transit Co., 188 Va. 493, 50 S.E.2d 268.

Supreme Court will not take judicial notice of local laws.

1948 Crew v. Nelson, 188 Va. 108, 49 S.E.2d 326.

Frequently, person’s observation and recollection of swiftly moving events immediately preceding crash in which he is seriously injured are confused and distorted.

1948 Murray v. Smithson, 187 Va. 759, 48 S.E.2d 239.

Supreme Court seems to take judicial notice of fact that vehicle overloaded and hauling trailer cannot be stopped in same distance it takes to stop standardly equipped auto.

1948 Nichols v. Southern Ry., 187 Va. 89, 45 S.E.2d 913.

Judicial notice. Freight train of 25 cars makes considerable noise.

1947 Masters v. Candi, 186 Va. 261, 42 S.E.2d 203.

It is common knowledge that one whose strength and endurance have been worn down by long and excessive driving is not as active and alert as he should be.

1945 Keen v. Harman, 183 Va. 670, 33 S.E.2d 197.

Common knowledge that when operator attempts to get his wheels back on hard surface from soft dirt shoulder, wheels will make wider tracks and will throw dirt in opposite direction. Vehicle out of control may act in manner which seemingly defies laws of physics.

1944 Richer v. Seawell, 183 Va. 379, 32 S.E.2d 62.

It is matter of common knowledge that vehicle traveling at 55 mph or less which gets out of control may behave in manner which seemingly defies all laws of physics.

1944 Young v. Merritt, 182 Va. 605, 29 S.E.2d 834.

It is matter of common knowledge that large majority of servicemen are highly moral and their family and friends visit them at their posts.

1944 Virginia State Fair Ass’n v. Burton, 182 Va. 365, 28 S.E.2d 716.

It is matter of common knowledge that even at ordinary speed, deflated tire is likely to cause driver of car to lose control.

1944 Carter v. Hercules Powder Co., 182 Va. 282, 28 S.E.2d 736.

It is common knowledge that one may die suddenly without knowing or suspecting that he was afflicted with mortal disease.

1944 Byrd v. Stonega Coke & Coal Co., 182 Va. 212, 28 S.E.2d 725.

It is matter of common knowledge that frequently persons apparently normal collapse from exposure to extreme heat or cold.

1943 American Tobacco Co. v. Harrison, 181 Va. 800, 27 S.E.2d 181.

It is almost needless to say that fast moving object attracts attention which would not be case if object were moving slowly.

1943 Wood Towing Corp. v. West, 181 Va. 151, 23 S.E.2d 789.

Court will take judicial notice of fact that sudden unexpected movement of surface upon which one stands is most likely to throw one off balance, causing him to do what he would not otherwise do.

1942 Richmond v. Best, 180 Va. 429, 23 S.E.2d 224.

“Men Working” signs are designed to protect workers and they are in no sense proclamations of danger ahead. This is matter of common knowledge.

1942 Harrell v. City of Norfolk, 180 Va. 27, 21 S.E.2d 733.

Judicial notice.It is common knowledge that condition of stomach has great deal to do with amount of whiskey required to produce intoxication.

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Judicial Notice Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

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