(a) Mandatory. A court shall take judicial notice of
(1) the General Laws of the Commonwealth, public acts of the Massachusetts Legislature, the common law of Massachusetts, rules of court, the contents of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, and Federal statutes, and
(2) the contents of Federal regulations and the laws of foreign jurisdictions that are brought to the court’s attention.
(b) Permissive. A court may take judicial notice of the contents of Federal regulations and the laws of foreign jurisdictions not brought to its attention, legislative history, municipal charters, and charter amendments.
(c) Not Permitted. A court is not permitted to take judicial notice of municipal ordinances, town bylaws, special acts of the Legislature, or regulations not published in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations.
Subsections (a)(1) and (2). These subsections are derived from 44 U.S.C. § 1507 (contents of the Federal Register shall be judicially noticed); G. L. c. 30A, § 6 (regulations published in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations shall be judicially noticed); and G. L. c. 233, § 70 (“The courts shall take judicial notice of the law of the United States or of any state, territory or dependency thereof or of a foreign country whenever the same shall be material.”). See also Cohen v. Assessors of Boston, 344 Mass. 268, 269, 182 N.E.2d 138, 139 (1962); Ralston v. Commissioner of Agric., 334 Mass. 51, 53–54, 133 N.E.2d 589, 591 (1956); Mastrullo v. Ryan, 328 Mass. 621, 622, 105 N.E.2d 469, 470 (1952); Brodsky v. Fine, 263 Mass. 51, 54, 160 N.E. 335, 337 (1928).
The party which seeks to have the court notice or apply any foreign law has the burden of bringing it to the court’s attention. See Mass. R. Crim. P. 39(b) (“The court shall upon request take judicial notice of the law of the United States or of any state, territory, or dependency thereof or of a foreign country whenever it shall be material.”); Mass. R. Civ. P. 44.1 (“A party who intends to raise an issue concerning the law of the United States or of any state, territory or dependency thereof or of a foreign country shall give notice in his pleadings or other reasonable written notice. The court, in determining such law, may consider any relevant material or source, including testimony, whether or not submitted by a party or admissible under Rule 43. The court’s determination shall be treated as a ruling on a question of law.”).
Subsection (b). This subsection is derived from G. L. c. 43B, § 12; Blue Hills Cemetery, Inc. v. Board of Registration in Embalming & Funeral Directing, 379 Mass. 368, 375 n.10, 398 N.E.2d 471, 476 n.10 (1979), citing Pereira v. New England LNG Co., 364 Mass. 109, 122, 301 N.E.2d 441, 449 (1973) (notice of legislative history is permissive); and New England Trust Co. v. Wood, 326 Mass. 239, 243, 93 N.E.2d 547, 549 (1950) (notice of charters and charter amendments of cities and towns).
Subsection (c). Courts “will not take judicial cognizance of municipal ordinances, or of special acts of the Legislature” (citations omitted). Brodsky v. Fine, 263 Mass. 51, 54, 160 N.E. 335, 337 (1928). Furthermore, “[t]he general rule in Massachusetts is that courts do not take judicial notice of regulations [not included in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations]; they must be put in evidence” (citations and quotations omitted). Peters v. Haymarket Leasing, Inc., 64 Mass. App. Ct. 767, 775 n.11, 835 N.E.2d 628, 635 n.11 (2005). Printed copies of legislative acts and resolves and attested copies of municipal ordinances, bylaws, rules, and regulations are admissible. G. L. c. 233, § 75.