State v. Leonard A. Sarnowski, 2005 WI App 48
For Sarnowski: Michael K. Gould, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate
¶13. Trial courts may take judicial notice in limited areas-“fact[s] generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court,” or “fact[s] capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” Wis. Stat. Rule 902.01(2). Significantly, a court may not take judicial notice unless the parties have at some point “an opportunity to be heard.” Rule 902.01(5).1 Further, a judge may not take “judicial notice” of things that he or she knows unless that knowledge also falls within the rule. State v. Peterson, 222 Wis. 2d 449, 457-458, 588 N.W.2d 84, 87-88 (Ct. App. 1998) (“A trial court sitting as fact-finder may derive inferences from the testimony and take judicial notice of a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute, but it may not establish as an adjudicative fact that which is known to the judge as an individual.”) (footnotes omitted).