A court may take “judicial notice” of a fact and thereby assume it’s truth for purposes of the pending proceeding if it is “generally known” or can be determined “from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” Once judicial notice is taken, the fact is considered proven for purposes of the proceeding. A court may take judicial notice on its own accord or upon request by a party, even if were not proven formally by evidence.
For example, a court may take judicial notice that it is nighttime at 7 PM in February in New York. If one party’s theory of a car accident case assumes that a motorist’s headlights should have been on because it was 7 PM, the party need not necessarily bring evidence to establish that 7 PM was after sunset. Rather, the court can take judicial notice of this fact.