United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ALFRED W. THOMAS, Plaintiff,
WASTE PRO USA, INC. and WASTE PRO OF FLORIDA, INC., Defendants.
Charlene Edwards Honeywell United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion for
Judicial Notice (Doc. 222), and Defendants' response
thereto (Doc. 223). In the motion, Plaintiff requests that
the Court judicially notice thirty-three documents which
include papers filed in other cases, orders entered in other
cases, testimony, evidence, a verdict form, a final judgment,
a satisfaction of judgment, and corporate filings. Doc. 222
at 1-7. Plaintiff further requests that the Court judicially
notice “adjudicative facts, ” including the date
the complaint was filed in Andreu v. Waste Pro of
Florida, Inc., et al., No:0:17-cv-60926 (S.D. Fla.)
(Andreu), the date the trial began in
Andreu, testimony that occurred during the
Andreu trial, statements made during closing
arguments in Andreu, the jury verdict in
Andreu, the final judgment in Andreu,
arguments made by Defendant Waste Pro of Florida, Inc.
(“WP Florida”) in Andreu, and the answer
filed by Defendant Waste Pro USA, Inc. (“WP USA”)
in Michael Riddle v. Waste Pro of USA, Inc., No.
6:11-cv-01593 (M.D. Fla) (Riddle). Doc. 222 at 7-13.
Plaintiff contends that judicial notice is proper pursuant to
Federal Rule of Evidence 201(b) because they are matters of
public record and capable of accurate and ready determination
by resort to sources whose accuracy could not reasonably be
questioned. Id. at 13. Defendants respond that
judicial notice is not proper because Plaintiff requests the
Court to notice the substance and conclusions of the
documents, not just the fact that these documents were filed
or proceedings occurred, which Defendants contend falls
outside the bounds of Rule 201. The Court, having considered
the motion and being fully advised in the premises, will
grant the Motion for Judicial Notice only to the extent that
it will recognize that the documents were filed, the dates
that the events occurred, and the subject matter of
litigation. The Court will not take judicial notice of the
documents for the purpose of establishing the truth of the
matter asserted in such documents.
a collective action filed pursuant to § 216(b) of the
FLSA by Plaintiff Alfred W. Thomas (“Thomas” or
“Plaintiff”) pertaining to the pay of certain
“Helpers” employed by Defendants WP USA and WP
Florida (collectively, “Defendants”), which
alleges willful violations of the FLSA. Doc. 111 ¶¶
1, 64, 72. Prior to this action, Roger Andreu filed an action
against, among others, WP Florida, which also alleged
violation of the FLSA. Doc. 197-5. That case proceeded to
trial and the jury entered a verdict in favor of Andreu. Doc.
197-8. Final judgment was entered against WP Florida. Doc.
197-9. Also prior to this action, Michael Riddle filed an
action against WP USA in which WP USA answered with an
admission that Riddle was employed by WP USA as a truck
driver. Doc. 197-37 ¶ 4. Plaintiff asks the Court to use
various documents and evidence from these cases in support of
his Motion for Summary Judgment, which are included as
exhibits to his Motion for Summary Judgment.
Rule of Evidence 201(b)(2) states that a “court may
judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable
dispute because it . . . can be accurately and readily
determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be
questioned.” “[C]ourts may take judicial notice
of documents from a prior proceeding because they are matters
of public record and ‘capable of accurate and ready
determination by resort to sources whose accuracy could not
reasonably be questioned.' ” Zurich Am. Ins.
Co. v. S.-Owners Ins. Co., 314 F.Supp.3d 1284, 1300
(M.D. Fla. 2018) (quoting Horne v. Potter, 392
Fed.Appx. 800, 802 (11th Cir. 2010). However, although a
court may take judicial notice of documents filed in other
courts, the court may not do so for the truth of the matters
asserted in the other litigation, and may only take judicial
notice to establish the fact of such litigation and related
filings. Id. (citing United States v.
Jones, 29 F.3d 1549, 1553 (11th Cir. 1994)). “As
such, ‘a court may take judicial notice of another
court's order only for the limited purpose of recognizing
the ‘judicial act' that the other order represents
or the subject matter of the litigation.' ”
Id. (quoting Jones, 29 F.3d at 1553).
Likewise, the court may take judicial notice of the documents
filed in a proceeding, but not the facts contained in the
documents. Kruse, Inc. v. Aqua Sun Invs., Inc., No.
6:07-cv-1367-Orl-19UAM, 2008 WL 276030, at *3 n.2 (M.D. Fla.
Jan. 31, 2008).
the Court may take judicial notice of publicly filed
corporate documents. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Estate of
Robert M. Levesque, No. 8:08-cv-2253-T-EAJ, 2010 WL
2978037, at *1 (M.D. Fla. July 19, 2010). However, the Court
may do so “only to the extent of what the documents
state, not to prove the truth of their contents.”
Id. (citing Bryant v. Avado Brands, Inc.,
187 F.3d 1271, 1279 (11th Cir. 1999)).
on the above, the Court will take judicial notice of the
documents listed in Plaintiff's Motion for Judicial
Notice (Doc. 222), but, with respect to the matters filed in
other cases, the Court will do so only to the extent of
recognizing the litigation and the filing of the documents or
occurrence of testimony, but will not take judicial notice of
the facts contained in those documents. Those events, which
appear on the public dockets for their respective cases,
• The Andreu complaint (Doc. 197-5)
• Portions of the Andreu trial testimony (Docs.
197-9, 197-17, 197-19, 197-20, 197-49)
• The Andreu docket sheet (Doc. 197-7)
• The signed Andreu verdict form (Doc. 197-8)
• The Andreu final judgment (Doc. 197-9)
• The Andreu answer and affirmative defenses