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What Is the Difference Between a Caveat Petition and a Legal Notice?

There are different types of documents, petitions, and applications in a civil suit. Court documents are filed with the court, and the opposing parties must receive copies. What is the difference between a caveat petition and a legal notice? Let us find out.

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Introduction

Caveat petitions and legal notices look similar at first. Still, the key difference lies in the statutory purpose for which it is used. A caveat petition is typically a measure taken by the caveator, who requests the court to inform them if the other person proceeds against the caveator. On the other hand, a legal notice is more of a written document. The one who sends a legal notice notifies the recipient about the legal proceedings they want to take against the latter. 

What Is a Caveat Petition?

A caveat petition is a legal notice filed with the court by an interested party in order to protect their interests in a particular matter. The petition is a way to prevent another party from taking any action in a matter without first giving notice to the interested party. It can be used to stop someone from taking any other action that could harm the person’s interests who filed the caveat petition.

The caveat petition should contain the following information:

  • The name of the court before which the caveat is filed
  • The number of the suit, petition, or appeal, if any
  • An overview of the application likely to be filed by the applicant in a suit or proceeding 
  • Creator’s name
  • Potential applicants name
  • Caveators’ address for service of a notice when a lawsuit is filed against them
  • RPAD should notify the opposite party/applicant of the caveat at the following address.
A caveat is a Latin phrase that generally means ‘beware’.

What Is a Legal Notice?

A legal notice is a formal document served to someone accused of violating the law. It gives them notice that they are being sued and gives them a chance to respond to the complaint. The legal notices are used in multiple matters such as cheque bounces, recovery issues, property dealings and issues, default in repayment of loans, issues between the employer and the employee, and consumer forums. Usually, a legal notice is not filed for criminal cases and is only done for civil cases. 

A legal notice is considered the most effective and efficient way to settle things by not proceeding through the legal channels, then just by negotiating or mediating. 

A legal notice should state the matter and facts, demands, and requirements from the sender and the consequences if the recipient doesn’t address the same within a stipulated period.  

It is mandatory to include the following information in the legal notice:

  • Names and addresses of the parties
  • The grievances and facts brought by the aggrieved party to the person issuing the notice 
  • Compensation sought by the person issuing the notice
  • Taking legal action against the other party if the other party does not address the grievance within a certain period of time
  • A notification is signed by the person issuing it.

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Difference Between Caveat Petition and Legal Notice

An advocate files a caveat petition in the court of law to pre-empt the other party from filing a case against their client. Likewise, an attorney notifies the opposing party of legal action before filing a lawsuit in an attempt to settle the dispute amicably.

During a caveat petition, the court will be responsible for letting the caveator know that an application is filed against them by serving a notice. In contrast, a legal notice is directly served by the individual or a group of them to the recipient through the post. 

For a caveat petition, it is clearly mentioned in Section 148-A of the code of civil procedure that the petition filed will only be valid for 90 days and not more than that unless the application is filed before the said time. However, the timeline will be clearly mentioned in the legal notice itself. The party who has served the notice must address the issues or the grievances quoted by the one who serves the notice. Suppose the receiving party fails to do so. In that case, the one who issues the legal notice can proceed legally and institute a suit.

Conclusion

A caveat petition is filed when there is already a pending case in court; on the other hand, a legal notice is sent to the person against whom you have grievances before filing a lawsuit in court. A caveat petition notifies the court of your interest in the case. At the same time, a legal notice serves as official notice that you intend to file a lawsuit.

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