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In re Marriage of Tresnak

297 N.W.2d 109 (1980)

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In re Marriage of Tresnak

Iowa Supreme Court

297 N.W.2d 109 (1980)

Facts

Linda Lou Tresnak (plaintiff) and Emil James Tresnak (Jim) (defendant) were married in 1965 and had two sons together. In 1979, Linda and Jim sought to dissolve the marriage. The trial court granted the decree to dissolve the marriage and awarded Jim custody of the children. The trial judge explained that it was in the children’s best interest to award Jim custody because Linda was attending law school and would not be able to provide the children with adequate care. Although Linda testified that she did not believe her studies would affect her ability to care for the children, the trial judge took judicial notice of the fact that law school was time-consuming and involved attending daily classes and spending late evenings and weekends in the library. Linda moved for a new trial on the ground that the trial court erred in taking judicial notice of the intense time commitment that law school requires because the matter is not one of common knowledge. The trial court overruled the motion on the ground that the those on the court had a “personal acquaintance with the studies of law school.” Linda appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McCormick, J.)

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