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That which is generally known.
This notoriety is of fact or of law. In general, the notoriety of a fact is not sufficient to found a judgment or to rely on its truth but there are some facts of which, in consequence of their notoriety, the court will, suo motu, take cognizance; for example, facts stated in ancient histories; recitals in statutes and in the law text books and the journals of the legislatures are considered of such notoriety that they need not be otherwise proved.
The courts of the United States take judicial notice of the, ports and waters of the United States, in, which the tide ebbs and flows. They take like notice of the boundaries, of the several states and judicial districts. It would be altogether unnecessary, if not absurd, to prove the fact that London's in Great Britain or Paris' in France, is not within the jurisdiction of an American court because the fact is notoriously known.
It is difficult to say what will amount to such notoriety as to render any other proof unnecessary. This must depend upon many circumstances; in one case, perhaps upon the progress of human knowledge in the fields of science; in another, on the extent of information on the state of foreign countries, and in all such instances upon the accident of their being little known or publicly communicated. The notoriety of the law is such that the judges are always bound to take notice of it; statutes, precedents and text books are therefore evidence, without any other proof than their production. The courts of the United States take judicial notice of all laws and jurisprudence of the several states in which they exercise original or appellate jurisdiction.
The doctrine of the civil and canon laws is similar to this.