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though it forms no part of the case as reported for their judgment: Springfield v. Worcester, 2 Cush. 52. The laws relating to highways are public statutes of which the courts will take judicial notice: Town of Griswold v. Gallup, 22 Conn. 208. And the same is true of bank-charters: Davis v. Bank of Fulton, 31 Ga. 69; though see Bank v. Gruber, 87 Penn. St. 468.

But private and special acts of the legislature, relating only to a limited number of persons, are not laws of which the courts are required to take official cognisance. This rests upon two reasons. In the first place, they are not matters of such public notoriety that judges are presumed to know them at all events. And secondly, they are not in reality the public laws of the state, but rather in the nature of a contract between the legislature, in their representative capacity, and the individuals who are supposed to derive benefit from them. Leland v. Wilkinson, 6 Pet. 317; Timlow v. Reading Railroad, 10 W. N. C. 436; Bank v. Gruber, 87 Penn. St. 468; Legrand v. Sidney College, 5 Munf. (Va.) 324. It is often essential to determine whether a given act is public or private, and to this end the court in Indiana has laid down the following rule: To constitute a statute a public act it is not necessary that it should extend to all parts of the state; it is a public act if it extends equally to all persons within the territorial limits described in the statute : Levy v. State. 6 Ind. 281. Yet a special act for the survey of a particular tract of land is not such a public law as the courts are required to know judicially: City of Allegheny v. Nelson, 25 Penn. St. 332. And, as further illustrating this distinction, it is held that while the court knows judicially all the statutes under which plank-road companies are organized, yet it cannot know judicially under which one any particular company was formed, or whether it has not adopted the provisions of some other act: Danville, foc., Co. v. State, 16 Ind. 456. In accordance with the principles of the rule above stated, it is decided that an act relating to the powers of a single municipal corporation is in its nature public, though not in terms declared to be so, and must be judicially noticed by the courts; Fauntleroy v. Hannibal, 1 Dill. 118. So also special laws enacted by a territorial legislature, creating towns or cities municipal corporations, are public acts : Prell v. Mc Donald, 7 Kans. 426. And the courts will take judicial notice of the power and authority of a city to improve its streets : Macey v. Titcombe, 19 Ind. 135; and that the streets of a city are public highways: Whittaker v. Eighth Ave. Railroad Co., 5 Robt. (N. Y.) 650 ; but not of the width of the streets or of the side-walks, in a city, nor of the city ordinances establishing the same or prescribing or limiting their extent: Porter v. Waring, 69 N. Y. 250. It is well settled that courts of general jurisdiction, established by the authority of the state, cannot take judicial notice of the city ordinances or police regulations of any municipal corporation : Case v. Mobile, 30 Ala. 538; Porter v. Waring, supra. But a city court will officially notice such ordinances; because it stands in the same attitude towards the municipal laws of the city that a state court occupies in reference to the public laws of the state : State v. Leiber, 11 Iowa 407. It appears that private laws, though requiring proof by evidence, need not be specially pleaded, but niay be exhibited as other documents, unless admitted by consent: Legrand v. College, 5 Munf. (Va.) 324.

III. International Law.—The law of nations, being co-extensive with civilization, must also be judicially noticed by all courts. Thus the law merchant, so far as the same is a part of the private international law, is not a subject for proof as matter of fact, but will be noticed and applied by the court: Jewel v. Center, 25 Ala. 498. So also it has been said in Connecticut, “ By common consent and general usage, the seal of a court of admiralty has been considered as sufficiently authenticating its records. No objection has prevailed against the reception of a decree of a court acting on the law of nations when established by its seal. The seal is deemed to be evidence of itself, because such courts are considered as courts of the whole civilized world, and every person interested as a party." Thompson v. Stewart, 3 Conn. 181. And the same is equally true of the general principles of the laws of navigation. Thus, where a set of rules of navigation (prescribing the different kinds of lights to be used on vessels) has been issued by a foreign government, and accepted as obligatory by more than thirty of the principal commercial nations of the world, the courts may take judicial notice of the fact that by common consent of mankind these rules have been acquiesced in as of general obligation. The law maritime does not require proof as a foreign law: The Scotia, 14 Wall. 170. So also the national flag and seal of all civilized countries is recognised by the courts: Watson v. Walker, 23 N. H. 496. And to further illustrate the same principle-acts which are criminal by the common law and the laws of all civilized countries will be presumed to be contrary to the laws of any state of the Union: Cliff v. M. B. Ins. Co., 13 Allen 308.

As a principle somewhat analogous to the preceding, it is held that the official seal of a notary public is self-proving everywhere; in other words, that the courts of one jurisdiction will take notice of the authority of a notary public, commissioned in another state to administer oaths and perform other duties incident to his official capacity, without any other authentication than his signature and notarial seal, and will infer therefrom that he was duly appointed by the governor of such state: Denmead v. Maack, 2 McArthur 475: Browne v. Philadelphia Bank, 6 S. & R. 484.

IV. Judicial Notice of State Law in the Federal Courts.Whenever questions arise in the courts of the United States which depend upon points of state law, the adjudicating tribunals will take judicial notice of all such laws: Merrill v. Dawson, 1 Hemp. 563; Jones v. Hays, 4 McLean 521 ; Mewster v. Spalding, 6 Id. 24; Pennington v. Gibson, 16 How. 65. So the Supreme Court will take official cognisance of any law of any state which may be necessary to the determination of the questions before it, and the circuit courts will notice the laws of all states within their territorial jurisdiction. This principle may rest upon either of two foundations. (1.) “ The circuit courts of the United States are created by Congress, not for the purpose of administering the local laws of a single state alone, but to administer the laws of all the states of the Union, in cases to which they respectively apply:" Owing: v. Hull, 9 Pet. 625; and since, as we have already seen, every court is presumed to know the whole body of the law which it is intended to administer, it follows that these courts must be acquainted with the state laws. (2.) In the contemplation of the federal tribunals the states are not “foreign," but are all component parts of the general government and territorially within its jurisdiction: Bennett v. Bennett, Deady 309.

In this matter the United States courts are governed by the same rules which direct the tribunals of the particular state; e. g. as respects the difference between public and private statutes, and the fact that the latter cannot be judicially noticed. So, where a certain act of incorporation is declared to be a public act, so that the state courts may include it within their judicial notice, the federal courts will do likewise : Covington Drawbridge Co. v. Shepherd, 20 How. 227. And so of a statute giving a county authority to subscribe for stock in a railroad company, and to issue its bonds in payment thereof: Smith v. Tallapoosa Co., 2 Woods 574. To this rule, however, there is an important exception, viz. : that while the courts of one state cannot generally notice the laws of a sister state, the judicial knowledge of a national court is not confined to the enactments of the state where it happens to be sitting at the particular time, but extends at all times to the laws of all other states within its jurisdiction. For it would be absurd to make the scope of the judicial knowledge shift and vary in correspondence with the venue of the particular action.

As a general rule, when the proper construction of a state statute has been fixed and settled by the court of last resort in that state, the same construction will be adopted by the federal courts sitting within her borders : Elmendorf v. Taylor, 10 Wheat. 152.

V. Laws of Sister States, how regarded.—It is a general rule that foreign laws are matters of fact to be pleaded and proved. As municipal laws have no extra-territorial force, they cannot be regarded, strictly speaking, as law when they are brought before a tribunal foreign to the jurisdiction that enacted thein. And the only reason why such tribunals enforce them at all is, because it is supposed that contracts made in foreign countries are made with reference to the laws there prevalent, and that those laws have thus become incorporated in such contracts. To enforce the contracts, therefore, it is necessary to enforce the laws. But as they are not proper subjects for the administration of the domestic tribunal, they must be alleged as matter of fact, and their existence and tenor must be established by testimony. Now the states of the American Cnion, except in so far as it is otherwise provided in the federal constitution, are regarded as independent sovereignties, and their mutual relations as those of foreign powers in close alliance and friendship. It follows from this that the laws of each state are “foreign" in the other states, and cannot be judicially noticed, but must be pleaded and proved as facts. This proposition is abundantly supported by the authorities : State v. Stade, 1 D. Chip. 303; Territt v. Woodruff, 19 Vt. 182; Hempstead v. Reed, 6 Conn. 480; Kline v. Baker, 99 Mass. 253; Knapp v. Abell, 10 Allen 485; Ames v. McCamber, 124 Mass. 85; Miller v. Avery, 2 Barb. Ch. 582; Hosford v. Nichols, 1 Paige Ch. 226; Dorsey v. Dor. rey, 5 J. J. Marsh. 280; Whitesides v. Poole, 9 Rich. (S. C.) 68; Simms v. Southern Ex. Co., 38 Ga. 129; Shed v. Augustine, 14 Kan. 282; Irring v. McLean, 4 Blackf. 52; Rothrock v. Pero kinson, 61 Ind. 39; Hymun v. Bayne, 83 Ill. 256 ; Carey v. Rail. road, 5 Iowa 357; Brimhall v. Van Campen, 8 Minn. 13; Rame v. Heaton, 9 Wis. 328; 1 Daniel on Negotiable Instruments, $ 865.

But there are certain modifications which have been engrafted upon this rule. Thus, where one state recognises acts done in pursuance of the laws of another state, its courts will take judicial notice of those laws, so far as may be necessary to determine the validity of the acts alleged to be in conformity with them : Carpenter v. Dexter, 8 Wall. 513. So also, where a question arises under the Act of Congress requiring that full faith and credit be given in each state to the public acts, records, and proceedings of every other state, the domestic tribunal will take judicial notice of the local laws of the state from which the record comes; for the very sensible reason that their proceedings, in such case, are subject to review in the Supreme Court of the United States, and since in that court the states are not regarded as foreign, and their individual laws are officially noticed, the same rule should obtain, under these circumstances, in the state courts. As remarked by WoodWARD, J., " It would be a very imperfect and discordant administration for the court of original jurisdiction to adopt one rule of decision, while the court of final resort was governed by another; and hence it follows that, in questions of this sort, we should take notice of the local laws of a sister state in the same manner the Supreme Court of the United States would do on a writ of error to our judgment:" State of Ohio v. Hinchman, 27 Penn. St. 479; Paine v. Insurance Co., 11 R. I. 411; Rae v. Hulbert, 17 Ill. 572; Butcher v. Bank, 2 Kans. 70. It has been said, in Georgia, that the judges, on the trial of a cause, may proceed on their personal knowledge of the laws of another state, and that their judgment will not be reversed, in consequence of their so doing, unless it appears that their decision was erroneous as to those laws: Herschfeld v. Derler, 12 Ga. 582. But this seems to be an isolated case. As showing the practical operation of this rule, we may cite the following: The courts cannot judicially know the rate of legal interest in a sister state: Clarke v. Pratt, 20 Ala. 470 ; Dorsey v. Dorsey, 5 J. J. Marsh. 280; nor what share would fall to a given heir of an intestate who died domiciled in another state: McDaniel v. Wright, 7 J. J. Marsh. 475; in an action on a contract made in another state, and specifying no particular place of

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