ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEGAL NOTICE- DETAILS AND INTRICACIES OF LEGAL NOTICE
“A Legal notice sets a ground for a fair trial as the addressee or the respondent gets time and opportunity to present his side of the story.” – Advocate Pushkar Taimni
An intimation to another person concerning the initiation of legal action against them is known as a legal notice. A legal notice is served to make the other person aware of legal action that is going to be taken against them. It is usually addressed formally and is a step before filing of a lawsuit. The person who intends to serve the notice is called the sender, and the person to whom the Notice is served is known as an addressee. Though a legal Notice is not always necessary, it serves the purpose of informing the addressee about one’s intentions. Usually, a legal notice is sent in cases involving civil matters such as negotiable instruments, breach of contract, issues over property, etc. A legal Notice not only saves the time of an individual but also alerts the opposite party of all the actions that could be taken against them for any wrong committed. It also, in a way, gives a chance to the other party to know what they are being sued for and prepare themselves accordingly to defend their case. Thus, a legal notice carries a lot of importance. Apart from sending a legal notice to any common man, a Legal Notice can also be sent and addressed to the government. Section 80 of The Code of Civil Procedure enables any person who is a government employee to send a legal notice to the concerned government institution, only up till or during their period of employment.
All the primary aspects of dealing with a legal Notice are as follows:
- PROCEDURE AND STEPS INVOLVED IN DRAFTING A LEGAL NOTICE
A legal notice can simply be drafted in 5 steps. These are as follows:
STEP 1- Hiring a lawyer– Every lawyer is known to be familiar with how to draft a legal notice. Sending of a legal notice necessitates the involvement of a lawyer. Thus, the first step is to reach out and hire a basic lawyer.
STEP 2- Disclosure of essential information– The next step is to truthfully share and explain all the necessary and required information to the hired lawyer, such as the name, address, facts of the concerned dispute, related issues, mode of redressal, etc.
STEP 3- Submission of documents- Issuing all the documents, which are necessary is the next simple step involved in the process of drafting a Legal Notice.
STEP 4- Drafting of the Notice- The next step involves the actual drafting of the Notice by the lawyer, in clear and appropriate legal language. The draft includes all the essential information such as the reason, and the time given to the addressee to send a reply of the concerned notice. It is upon the sender to decide the stipulated period of reply.
STEP 5- Authorising the Notice- The Notice is authorised on the signing of both the sender as well as the lawyer. The Notice can then be sent via registered post, along with the retention of the slip of acknowledgement.
- ESSENTIALS OF A LEGAL NOTICE
It is very essential to mention all the necessary information required in the legal Notice, and to also make sure that it is properly formatted before it is sent out to the addressee. This is because it needs to properly convey the intentions of the sender and sending a legal notice is considered to be the primary step before taking a legal action against someone. The information that is very essential in the legal Notice is as follows:
- Basic information– Personal and basic information of the sender, such as name, address, contact number, etc, must be rightly and aptly mentioned in the Notice.
- Mention of the cause of action– All the required and important facts must be properly mentioned along with the grievances to be sought from the addressee. Any prior communication between the sender and addressee must also be presented in the notice. This on the whole includes the cause of action to be mentioned.
- Relief– All the modes of relief that the sender intends to sought from the addressee must be clearly explained along with providing proper and rationale reasons for the same.
- PRIMARY CASES WHERE A LEGAL NOTICE CAN BE FILED
A legal Notice is usually filed in case of civil suits. In criminal cases, the Notice which is referred to as warrant is itself issued by the state. The following are the cases under which a legal Notice can be addressed:
In cases of personal disputes-
In cases that involve personal disputes such as that of divorce, maintenance, adoption, restitution of conjugal rights, etc, a legal Notice is usually sent before the filing of the lawsuit.
In cases of complaint-
In cases of complaint against both the employer as well as the employee, a legal Notice is sent formally to the addressee. The employees of the organisation can send a Notice to their employer on various matters, such as sexual harassment at workplace, wrongfully terminating their job, refusal to pay them salary, etc. Likewise, the employer can also complaint against the employees and send them a Notice on issues such as non-compliance to the company’s terms and conditions, breach of any clause of contract of the employment, disobedience towards the organisation’s policy, etc.
In cases of dispute of property-
Cases that involve disputes over property in India are considered to contribute to the maximum set of cases in the Indian courts. Most number of litigation suits filed are on property disputes. In these cases, a legal Notice is usually sent to the addressee informing him about the issue and cause of action of the initiation of the legal action against him/her. Thus, in disputes regarding ownership of land between the family members, succession, tenant’s eviction, etc, legal Notice plays a significant part. It is sent to the addressee even before the suit is filed in the court of law.
In cases of cheque bounce-
In cases of cheque bounce, it is mandatory for the sender who is intending to take a legal action against someone, to send a legal Notice before filing a lawsuit. Under section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, a notice can be sent to any person whose cheque bounces upon its issuance. Legal action can also be taken against the issuer under this section. But before taking any legal action, it is the statutory duty of the sender to send a legal Notice to the issuer of the cheque.
Nowadays, a legal notice can not only be sent via registered post, but also through email and WhatsApp. The sent section in case of an email and the appearance of bluetick over the app are considered to be valid and authorised proof of the acceptance of communication on the part of the addressee. This is valid under the evidence law. A legal Notice can be sent even without a lawyer, but in most cases, it is advisable to hire a lawyer for its drafting as it is required to be sent in a formal and professional manner. Thus, serving a legal Notice not only saves time and money, but also proves to be reasonable and fair for the addressee as well, by giving him a chance to prepare accordingly for the case going to be instituted against them.