No. XII.4 - Prima facie evidence

Prima facie evidence, which is based on a typical set of facts that, according to the general experience of life, justifies the assumption of a certain cause or consequence, is admissible (res ipsa loquitur). 

1 The Principle means an alleviation of the general Principle of burden of proof in cases which relate to a set of facts which, according to the general experience of life, typically lead to a certain cause or consequence. Such result or cause can then be inferred from the very nature of that set of facts, even without direct evidence for such cause or consequence. The party must prove only the set of facts, but not the cause or consequence that can be inferred from that set of facts. "Typically" does not mean that the set of facts must be the reason for the cause or consequence in all conceivable circumstances, but that this connection is so frequent that it is highly probable that this connection between the set of facts and the cause or consequence which the party intends to prove exists in the given case.

2 If the other party proves facts which support the assumption of an a-typical set of facts which does not allow the inference of the cause or consequence which the first party intends to prove with prima facie evidence, the first party must meet the full burden of proof for establishing the facts underlying its claim or defense because the prima facie evidence rule is no longer available.

Please cite as: "Commentary to Trans-Lex Principle ,"
Court Decisions
BGH WM 2004, 2309
Giant Food, Inc v Washington Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Inc, 332 A.2d 1
Leikach v Royal Crown Bottling Company of Baltimore Inc., 276 A2d. 81
Melvin C. Foster v Union Starch & Refining Co, 137 N.E.2d 499
Scott v The London and St. Katherine Docks Company, 159 E.R. 665 (1865)
Buciek, Klaus D., Beweislast und Anscheinsbeweis im internationalen Recht. "Eine Untersuchung zum Grundsatz des Verfahrens nach eigenem Recht", Bonn 1984
Domingo, Ortega, Rodriguez-Antolin, Zambrana, Principios de Derecho Global, Navarra, 2006
Kersley, R.H., M.A., LL.M./ Broom, Herbert, LL.D., A Selection of Legal Maxims, 10th ed. London, 1939
Liebs, Detlef, Lateinische Rechtsregeln und Rechtssprichwörter, 4th ed., Munich 1986
Pawlowski, Enka, Der Prima-Facie-Beweis bei Schadensersatzansprüchen aus Delikt und Vertrag, Göttingen, 1966.
Rommé, Oliver, Der Anscheinsbeweis im Gefüge von Beweiswürdigung, Beweismaß und Beweislast, 1989, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Munich. (Prütting, Prozeßrechtliche Abhandlungen, Volume 71)
Contract Clauses
1. Contractual Definition
Trust Agreement

Unless manifestly erroneous, the certificate, advice or bill of the appropriate official designated by law to make or issue the same or to receive payment or any Imposition, which such certificate, advice or bill indicates the nonpayment of such Imposition, shall be prima facie evidence that such Imposition is due and unpaid at the time of the making or issuance of such certificate, advice or bill.

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