Judicial Notice When Mandatory
Judicial Notice – no more than that the court will bring to its aid
and consider, without proof of the facts, its knowledge of those
matters of public concern which are known by all well-informed persons.
- cognizance of certain facts which judges may take
and act on without proof because they are already known to them.
The object of judicial notice is to save time, labor and expense in
securing and introducing evidence on matters which are not ordinarily
capable of dispute and not actually bonafide disputed, and the tenor
of which can safely be assumed form the tribunal’s general knowledge
or from slight search on its part.
Judicial notice is based on convenience and expediency.
Two kinds of judicial notice
The direct effect of judicial notice upon the burden of proving a
fact is to relieve the parties from the necessity of introducing
evidence to prove the fact noticed. It makes evidence unnecessary.
The stipulation and admission of the parties or counsel cannot prevail
over the operation of the doctrine of judicial notice, and such
stipulation and admissions are all subject to the operation of the
Municipal trial courts are required to take judicial notice of the
ordinances of the municipality or city wherein they sit.
In the RTC, they must take such judicial notice only
1. when required to do so by statute and
2. in a case on appeal before them and wherein the inferior court
took judicial notice of an ordinance involved in said case.
Courts are required to take judicial notice of the decisions of
the appellate courts but not of the decisions of coordinate
Judicial Notice When Mandatory
1. Existence and territorial extent of states
2. Their political history
3. Their forms of government
4. Their symbols of nationality
5. The law of nations
6. Admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals
7. Political constitution and history of the Philippines
8. Official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial
departments of the Philippines
Courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws.
(Yao-Kee v. Sy-Gonzales 1988)
General rule: Courts are not mandated to take judicial notice of
municipal ordinances. (City of Manila v. Garcia 1967)
Exception: If the charter of the concerned city provides for such
General rule: Courts cannot take judicial notice of the
contents/records of other cases even if both cases may have been
tried or are pending before the same judge.(Prieto v. Arroyo 1965)
Exception: The case clearly referred to or the original or part
of the records of the case are actually withdrawn from the archives
of that case and admitted as part of the record of the case
pending when:(Tabuena v. CA (1991)
a) There is no objection from adverse party even with his
b) It is at the request or with the consent of the parties
9. Laws of nature;
10. Measure of time;
11. Geographical divisions
Below is a sample Bar Examination question given in 2005 applying
the above mentioned rule.
1. Explain briefly whether the RTC may, motu proprio, take judicial
notice of: (5%)
The street name of methamphetamine hydro-chloride is shabu.
The RTC may motu proprio take judicial notice of the street name
of methamphetamine hydrochloride is shabu, considering the
chemical composition of shabu. (People v. Macasling, GM, No.
90342, May 27,1993)
2. Ordinances approved by municipalities under its territorial
In the absence of statutory authority, the RTC may not take
judicial notice of ordinances approved by municipalities under
their territorial jurisdiction, except on appeal from the
municipal trial courts, which took judicial notice of the
ordinance in question. (U.S. v. Blanco, G.R, No. 12435, November
9,1917; U.S. v. Hernandez, G.R. No. 9699, August 26, 1915)
3. Foreign laws
The RTC may not generally take judicial notice of foreign laws.
It must be proved like any matter of fact except in few instances,
the court in the exercise of its sound judicial discretion, may
take notice of foreign laws when Philippine courts are evidently
familiar with them, such as the Spanish Civil Code, which had
taken effect in the Philippines, and other allied legislation.
(Pardo v. Republic, G.R. No. L2248 January 23, 1950; Delgado v.
Republic,G.R. No. L2546, January .28, 1950)
4. Rules and Regulations issued by quasi- judicial bodies implementing
The RTC may take judicial notice of Rules and Regulations issued
by quasi-judicial bodies implementing statutes, because they are
capable of unquestionable demonstration , unless the law itself
considers such rules as an integral part of the statute, in which
case judicial notice becomes mandatory.
(Chattamal v. Collector of Customs, G.R. No.16347, November 3,1920)
5. Rape may be committed even in public places.
The RTC may take judicial notice of the fact that rape may be
committed even in public places. The "public setting" of the rape
is not an indication of consent.
(People v. Tongson, G.R. No. 91261, February 18, 1991)
The Supreme Court has taken judicial notice of the fact that a man
overcome by perversity and beastly passion chooses neither the time,
place, occasion nor victim.
(People v, Barcelona, G.R. No. 82589, October 31,1990)