There are several instances where one feels that their legal rights have been violated by another party. A Legal Notice can be sent to the other party in such instances before formally initiating court proceedings or any other mode of Dispute Resolution. It specifies the grievances of the party and the remedies demanded. It provides a chance for the other party to amicably resolve the dispute without the initiation of legal proceedings.

Benefits of a Legal Notice

  • The parties are provided with a final chance for resolution of the issue before the court proceedings are initiated. 
  • The party to whom the notice is sent is clarified of the intention of the other party to initiate legal proceedings if the resolution is not provided. 
  • The clarity provided about the grievances and demands of the affected party can lead to an early resolution of disputes in some cases.
  • The parties may choose to adopt an alternative method of dispute resolution instead of the traditional method of litigation which can save both time and cost for both parties. 
  • It serves as proof in Court that the other party was notified of the grievances and disputes beforehand, but a settlement could not be reached.
  • The sending of a Legal Notice is mandatory before the initiation of legal proceedings in certain cases. 

How to send a Legal Notice?

  • In case you feel that your rights have been violated or you have a grievance that gives rise to a legal dispute, you can draft a legal notice or hire a lawyer to draft one on your behalf. 
  • The notice should include the nature of the grievance, the legal provisions under which the rights have been violated, and the resolution which has been demanded.

 

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When is it mandatory to serve a Legal Notice?

In the following instances, it is mandatory to serve a legal notice before the institution of Court Proceedings.

  • Under Section 80 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC), it is mandatory to send a legal notice to the Government or a Public Officer with respect to any act done in an official capacity. A lawsuit can be filed only after the expiration of two months after the delivery of the legal notice.
  • In cases of dishonour of a cheque, it is mandatory to send a Legal Notice to the drawer within a period of 15 days of the dishonour of the cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. If 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. 

How to Respond to a Legal Notice?

There are times when you could be served legal notice and it can be puzzling as to how to respond at first. In such instances, the following steps can be taken to respond to a legal notice.

  • Read through the contents of the notice and consult a lawyer to understand the implications of the notice and its contents. 
  • The lawyer can advise you as to the correct response to the notice or if the notice does not merit a reply. 
  • The lawyer can draft a reply on your behalf and send it to the concerned party. 

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