United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
B. WHITEHURST, MAG. JUDGE
A. DOUGHTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Motion to Take Judicial Notice of the
Spurgeon Case [Doc. No. 98] and a Second Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 99] filed by Plaintiff Hadassa
Investment Security Nigeria, Ltd. (“Hadassa”).
Defendant Swiftships, LLC opposes the motions. [Doc. Nos. 103
& 104]. Hadassa filed reply memoranda in support of its
motions. [Doc. Nos. 106 & 107]. For the following
reasons, Hadassa's Motion to Take Judicial Notice is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, but its Second Motion for
Summary Judgment is DENIED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Court previously recounted the facts in this case in ruling
on Hadassa's first Motion for Summary Judgment. [Doc. No.
94]. The Court incorporates those facts by reference.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Rule of Evidence 201 provides that the Court “may
judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable
dispute because it . . . is generally known within the trial
court's territorial jurisdiction; or . . . can be
accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy
cannot reasonably be questioned.”
case, Hadassa urges the Court to take judicial notice of
Spurgeon v. LeLeux, Civil Action No. 6:11-1807 (W.D.
La. 2019). Both Hadassa in support of its motion and
Defendants in opposition to the motion appear to focus on
this Court's ability to take judicial notice of another
court's record. However, that is not the issue here. The
issue is whether this Court can take judicial notice of facts
in a related proceeding conducted by this same Court. In
Taylor v. Charter Medical Corp., 162 F.3d 827
(5th Cir. 1998), the Fifth Circuit held, on a
matter of first impression that a district court did not err
in refusing to take judicial notice of “the
factual findings of another court.”
Id. at 829, 831. In reaching that decision, the
Fifth Circuit discussed Kinnett Dairies, Inc. v. J.C.
Farrow, 580 F.2d 1260 (5th Cir. 1978). The
Taylor court distinguished Kinnett:
In Kinnett, the plaintiff requested that the
district court “take judicial notice of the record in
[a separate, but related case] and asked the clerk to bring
it into the courtroom particularly the discovery depositions.
. . .” . . . The district court stated in its opinion
that it had taken “judicial notice” of the
subject material, but did not clarify of what exactly it had
taken notice. On appeal, the defendant objected to the
inclusion of the depositions and other evidence in the
record. We rejected the defendant's argument, noting that
the defendant (1) had not objected to the plaintiff's
request for judicial notice in the district court and (2) had
been granted the opportunity to submit its own evidence and
to question those parties whose depositions were made part of
the record. . . .In his brief, Taylor argues that, in so
holding in Kinnett, we went beyond simply permitting
a district court to take judicial notice of facts found true
by another court, actually allowing the district court to
take “as true certain evidence in depositions in a
completely separate case.”
Taylor misreads Kinnett. In fact, the issue in
Kinnett was not even properly categorized as one of
judicial notice, despite the court's use of that term. A
fact that has been judicially noticed is not subject to
dispute by the opposing party- indeed, that is the very
purpose of judicial notice. . . .The district court in
Kinnett, however, did not accept the deposition
testimony and evidence presented to it as true, but rather
granted the defendant the opportunity to present
counter-evidence and examine witnesses on the issues covered
by the alleged judicially-noticed deposition testimony. . .
The court did not, as Taylor asserts in his brief, take
“as true certain evidence in depositions in a
completely separate case.” It simply admitted into
evidence deposition testimony taken in another case.
Kinnett, therefore, in no way conflicts with our
holding today that the district court did not err in refusing
to take judicial notice of the Milonas courts'
state actor determination.
Taylor, 162 F.3d at 831-32. Therefore, the Fifth
Circuit was clear that there was a distinction between what
the Kinnett did by allowing the admission of
depositions and testimony from a related case and a request
for judicial notice of another court's factual findings
in another case.
Kinnett itself, the Fifth Circuit explained that:
Here counsel had requested the court to take judicial notice
of material in its own files and asked the clerk to bring the
record of prior proceedings into the courtroom. As Judge
Weinstein has noted, “Courts are particularly apt to
take notice of material in court files.” ...