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House set to allow judges to take ‘judicial notice’ of web mapping services

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Sen. Jennifer Bradley

Sen. Jennifer Bradley

The House is poised to sign off on a measure that would permit courts to take “judicial notice” of internet mapping services.

The House agreed March 3 to substitute SB 634 by Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Orange Park, for a companion, HB 677 by Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton.

The procedural move sets the bill, “Judicial Notice,” up for final legislative approval, possibly within the next few days.

“Judicial notice is used to save time and resources since presenting evidence in certain circumstances may cause an unnecessary burden,” Robinson said.

The measure would allow a court, upon a motion by a party, to take judicial notice of images, maps, distance calculations, and other information provided by widely accepted internet services, such as Google Maps.

The measure creates a “rebuttable presumption” that the information is correct, but it allows a party to object.

A court could overcome the presumption if it finds that the information “does not fairly and accurately portray what is being offered to prove,” or “otherwise should not be admitted into evidence.”

Another provision requires a court in criminal cases to “instruct the jury that the jury may or may not accept the noticed facts as conclusive.”


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