Courts will take judicial notice of facts pertaining to the size, location, distance, population and characteristics of land and localities.
For example, courts has taken judicial notice of the population of cities in Delaware,46 as well as the general fact of population increase.47 Courts have also taken notice of the increase in Delaware land values over time.48
Courts will take judicial notice of distances, such as the fact that Baltimore, Maryland and Mariton, New Jersey, are within 75 miles of Dover.49 Courts have also taken judicial notice that Brandywine Hundred is in New Castle County,50 that Camden is in Kent County51 and that Lewes is in Sussex County.52
Beyond this, Delaware courts have taken judicial notice of specific characteristics of areas in Delaware and characteristics of populated areas in general. It has been judicially noticed that Kirkwood Highway is one of the most heavily travelled motorways in Delaware (particularly around 4:30 p.m.),53 that there are many hazardous natural and artificial collections of stone in Brandywine Park and elsewhere,54 and that the Delaware River is a public navigable river.55 More generally, courts have noticed that there are many business and residential districts outside of incorporated cities and towns,56 and that stores are found in great abundance in thickly populated communities.57 It has also been judicially noticed that tidal mudflats are unstable over time.57.1
46. In re Opinion of Justices, 276 A.2d 736, 739 (Del. 1971); In re Ceresini, 189 A. 443, 450 (Del. Super. 1937).
47. Brennan v. Black, 104 A.2d 777, 794 (Del. 1954).
48. Brennan v. Black, 104 A.2d 777, 794 (Del. 1954); Wilkes v. German, 316 A.2d 200, 203 (Del. 1974); State v. Groves, C.A. No. 88C-FE-124, slip op. at 2, Stiftel, J. (Del. Super. Sept. 15, 1989).
49. Ross v. Sobel, C.A. No. 85C-MR-l 15, slip op. at 15 n.4, Barron, J. (Del. Super. June 15, 1990), rev’d on reh’g on other grounds, C.A. No. 85C-MR-I 15, Barron, J. (Del. Super. Aug. 21, 1990) (Baltimore); Ragazzo v. Truono, C.A. No. 83C-OC-46, slip op. at 4, Babiarz, J. (Del. Super. Apr. 12, 1989) (Marlton).
50. Henderson v. State, 128 A. 483, 484 (Del. Super. 1925).
51. State v. Tootle, 2 Del. 541, 2 Harr. 541, 542 (Del. Super. 1837).
52. See Emory v. Collings, I Del. 325, 1 Harr. 325 (Del. Super. 1834).
53. Maguire v. Leggio, 280 A.2d 723, 725 (Del. 1971).
54. Moran v. Delaware Racing Asso., 218 A.2d 452, 454 (Del. Super. 1966).
55. State ex rel. Buckson v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 228 A.2d 587, 594 (Del. Super. 1967), aff’d, 267 A.2d 455 (Del. 1969), order supplemented, 273 A.2d 268 (Del. 1971).
56. State v. Shaw, 192 A. 610, 612 (Del. Gen. Sess. 1937).
57. Wilmington v. Turk, 129 A. 512, 520 (Del. Ch. 1925).
57.1. Martin v. Turner, C.A. No. 2314-MG, slip op. at 10, Glasscock, M. (Del. Ch. Nov. 23, 2009).
© 2010 David L. Finger