28 U.S. Code § 1739 - State and Territorial nonjudicial records; full faith and credit

All nonjudicial records or books kept in any public office of any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or copies thereof, shall be proved or admitted in any court or office in any other State, Territory, or Possession by the attestation of the custodian of such records or books, and the seal of his office annexed, if there be a seal, together with a certificate of a judge of a court of record of the county, parish, or district in which such office may be kept, or of the Governor, or secretary of state, the chancellor or keeper of the great seal, of the State, Territory, or Possession that the said attestation is in due form and by the proper officers.
If the certificate is given by a judge, it shall be further authenticated by the clerk or prothonotary of the court, who shall certify, under his hand and the seal of his office, that such judge is duly commissioned and qualified; or, if given by such Governor, secretary, chancellor, or keeper of the great seal, it shall be under the great seal of the State, Territory, or Possession in which it is made.
Such records or books, or copies thereof, so authenticated, shall have the same full faith and credit in every court and office within the United States and its Territories and Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts or offices of the State, Territory, or Possession from which they are taken.

Source

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 947.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 688 (R.S. § 906).
Words “Possession of the United States” were substituted for “or any country subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”
Words “or copies thereof” were added in two places. Copies have always been used to prove records and books under section 688 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., and the addition of these words clarifies the former implied meaning of such section.
In the first paragraph of the revised section words “a judge of a court of record” were substituted for words “the presiding justice of the court” and in the second paragraph “judge” was substituted for “presiding justice” for convenience and without change of substance.
Words “and its Territories and Possessions” were added after “United States”, near the end of the section, in view of provisions of section 688 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., for the admission of records and books in any court or office in any other State, Territory, or “in any such country.” (Changed to “Possession” in this section.)
See also Rule 44 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Changes were made in phraseology.

 

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