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28 U.S. Code § 1733 - Government records and papers; copies

Books or records of account or minutes of proceedings of any department or agency of the United States shall be admissible to prove the act, transaction or occurrence as a memorandum of which the same were made or kept.
Properly authenticated copies or transcripts of any books, records, papers or documents of any department or agency of the United States shall be admitted in evidence equally with the originals thereof.
This section does not apply to cases, actions, and proceedings to which the Federal Rules of Evidence apply.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 946; Pub. L. 93–595, § 2(c), Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 661–667, 671 (R.S. §§ 882–886, 889; July 31, 1894, ch. 174, §§ 17, 22, 28 Stat. 210; Mar. 2, 1895, ch. 177, § 10, 28 Stat. 809; June 10, 1921, ch. 18, §§ 301, 302, 304, 310, 42 Stat. 23–25; May 10, 1934, ch. 277, § 512, 48 Stat. 758; June 19, 1934, ch. 653, § 6(a), 48 Stat. 1109).

The consolidation of sections 661667 and 671 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., permitted omission of obsolete, unnecessary and repetitive provisions in such sections. For example, the provision in section 665 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., authorizing the court to require production of documents on a plea of non est factum, was omitted. Such plea is obsolete in Federal practice.

Numerous provisions with respect to authentication were omitted as covered by Rule 44 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Likewise the provision that official seals shall be judicially noticed was omitted as unnecessary. Seals of Federal agencies are judicially noticed by States and Federal courts without statutory mandate. Gardner v. Barney, 1867, 6 Wall. 499, 73 U.S.C. 499, 18 L.Ed. 890, 31 C.J.S. 599 n. 27–30 and 23 C.J.S. 99 n. 41. The same principle unquestionably will apply to seals of Government corporations.

Words “of any corporation all the stock of which is beneficially owned by the United States, either directly or indirectly”, in section 661 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., were omitted as covered by “or agency”. The revised section was broadened to apply to “any department or agency”. (See reviser’s note under section 1345 of this title.)

Changes were made in phraseology.

Editorial Notes
References in Text

The Federal Rules of Evidence, referred to in subsec. (c), are set out in the Appendix to this title.


1975—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 93–595 added subsec. (c).