Adjudicative Fact Law & Legal Definition


Adjudicative facts are fact that is either legally operative or important as to be controlling on some question of law. Adjudicative facts re-create the course of events that led to the dispute and help in determining the proper outcome in the case. They differ from ordinary facts in that they are considered facts only if the court recognizes and accepts them. For example, a witness may testify that she saw the defendant's car parked at a specific place at a specific time. The court may reject her account and instead accept another witness's testimony that the defendant was driving that same car in another part of town at the same time. The second witness's account will therefore become part of the adjudicative facts of the case, and the first witness's recollection will be considered immaterial.

Adjudicative facts found by the court are final and will not be reviewed on appeal except in cases where it can be shown that the findings were made on insubstantial evidence or were clearly erroneous.

The following is an example of a State Statute ( Pennsylvania) on Adjudicative Facts:

Pa.R.E. 201 Judicial notice of adjudicative facts

(a) Scope of rule. This rule governs only judicial notice of adjudicative facts.

(b) Kinds of facts. A judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is either (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.

(c) When discretionary. A court may take judicial notice, whether requested or not.

(d) When mandatory. A court shall take judicial notice if requested by a party and supplied with the necessary information.

(e) Opportunity to be heard. A party is entitled upon timely request to an opportunity to be heard as to the propriety of taking judicial notice and the tenor of the matter noticed. In the absence of prior notification, the request may be made after judicial notice has been taken.

(f) Time of taking notice. Judicial notice may be taken at any stage of the proceeding.

(g) Instructing jury. The court shall instruct the jury that it may, but is not required to, accept as conclusive, any fact judicially noticed.