What is a legal notice?

It is a formal communication made by a person or an entity to another person or entity specifying grievances to resolve failing which they will undertake legal proceedings against them. It is the final step taken to give one last opportunity to amicably resolve the dispute without going to Court. 

Benefits of a legal notice

  • It provides a chance for amicable and speedy resolution of disputes without going to court. This also saves the Court fees for the parties and the time of the Court.
  • It serves as a final warning and clarifies the intention of the sender to initiate legal proceedings in case the demands are not complied with.
  • It clearly lists out the grievances of the sender. This at times can lead to an easy resolution when the whole dispute arose due to misunderstandings of the facts of the dispute.
  • It also renders the party free to resort to alternate methods of dispute resolution like arbitration, mediation and conciliation. (Add the link to the article when it is completed)
  • It serves as a proof in Court that the other party was notified of the grievances and disputes beforehand but a settlement could not be reached.
  • It is mandatory to send a legal notice before filing a lawsuit for certain offences.

When is legal notice mandatory?

  • Section 80 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC): It mandates that a legal notice is to be sent to the Government or a Public Officer with respect to any act done in official capacity. A lawsuit can be filed only after expiration of two months after the delivery of the legal notice.
  • Section 138 of NI Act: This section is applicable in the cases of dishonour of cheque. The notice is to be issued to the drawer within 15 days of the dishonour of the cheque. In case, no payment is made within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, a suit must be filed before the magistrate within 30 days after the expiry of the 15 day period after sending the notice. 

Other cases where legal notice is usually served

  • Consumer disputes. (Faulty products, unsatisfactory service, counterfeit appliances etc.)
  • Eviction of illegal tenants. (Tenants refusing to vacate after expiry of lease etc.)
  • Property related disputes (Delay of Possession by builder, Partition Disputes etc.) 
  • Complaints against the Employer (Irregular payment of wages, wrongful termination, harassment etc.)
  • Matrimonial Disputes (Divorce, Maintenance, Child Custody etc.)
  • Violations by employee (Violation of company policies, causing damage to the company’s reputation, etc.)

Main contents of a legal notice

  • Address of the sender and the person to whom the notice is addressed to.
  • A brief description of the grievance or dispute. 
  • The relief sought for the same.
  • The deadline to file a reply after which a lawsuit will be filed by the sender.

How to send a legal notice?

  • Contact an advocate and tell them about your grievance or dispute.
  • The advocate will draft the notice and run its contents by you to confirm it consists of all the necessary information. 
  • Once the confirmation is given, the notice is signed by both you and the advocate
  • The notice is then sent by the advocate through registered post or courier.
  • The acknowledgment slip acts as evidence of the dispatch. It is also used to check the date of delivery and take action appropriately.

In order to know more about a legal notice and its drafting, please Contact Us.

What to do in case you receive a legal notice?

  • Read the notice carefully and try to understand how it impacts you.
  • Seek the assistance of a lawyer and decide on the course of action.
  • The lawyer may advise you to reply to the notice and resolve the dispute or to contest the notice with a reply if the facts stated are false.
  • However, if the notice is frivolous in nature or something that does not need to be replied to, keep a record of the date of receipt and your lawyer will assist you in contesting the lawsuit or having it dismissed if the need arises.

If you have received a legal notice and want assistance, please Contact Us.