There is a common misconception about legal notices, as most people cannot define what goes into them. While it’s always advisable to get a legal expert to create one out for you, it also behoves you to know what goes into drafting one.
All legal action can only be taken once notice has been served upon the entity or individual you wish to take to court. It is this process that legalises bringing a matter to court. The intimation sent is known as a legal notice. A legal notice is, therefore, a formal communication to a person or an entity, informing the other party of your intention to undertake legal proceedings against them.
This notice, when sent, conveys your intention before the legal proceedings and thus, makes the party aware of your grievance. Many times, a legal notice served will bring the other party to heel, and the problem is often resolved out of court, well before it goes to trial, with fruitful discussions on both sides.
However, if the other party is still unheeding the grievance, one can always start the court proceedings after the prescribed interval as stated by law.
The bottom line is that a legal notice can serve as a point of reference to embark upon negotiations between two parties and save both the time, effort, and money that is usually spent in court cases.
A legal notice is filed as per Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and is only filed in civil cases. A legal notice is an intimation and thus carries the following information:
- Precise statement and facts relating to the grievance for which the action is to be taken
- Alternatives/relief sought by the grieving party
- A summary of facts, and
- The way it can be solved.
A complete brief of the problems that the aggrieved party is facing, combined with what can be done to resolve the issue need to be clearly mentioned. The last past of the Legal notice should contain a detailed account of how relief can be obtained/the problem can be solved once the grievance is mutually agreed upon by both sides.
A perfectly crafted legal notice can act as a mediator between the two parties and help solve the issue out of the court if both of them are willing to compromise on the issue.
A legal notice must contain the following points:
- Name and required information
- Place of residence of the notice sender
- Aspects of the effect
- The form of relief claimed by the sender of the notice
- The gist of the legal basis for the relief claimed
Filing a Legal Notice
A legal notice, although a simple document, requires precision and accuracy and the use of definite language to ensure the message sent across is correct. A legal expert or an agent can help in putting forth the legal notice as per law and wording it as required for the particular issue.
- The first step is to prepare a legal notice, with the issue, the relief sought, and a definite time frame (say, 30 to 60 days) to solve the issue, to be addressed to the other party and sent through registered AD post
- After sending the notice, save the copy of the receipt sent. This may come in handy in case of filing for the court case
- Wait for the stipulated period before filing the court case
- Now, the person or entity on whom the notice was served will have the above mentioned days to reply to the notice or opt for an out-of-court settlement.
Even if the other party were to ignore a legal notice, it is essential for the aggrieved party to open up grievances through the medium of a legal notice. If the other party were not to reply to a notice, they are likely to be at a disadvantage when appearing in court.
Legal notice can be sent personally too. One can legal notice draft and authorize it before sending it to the other party. However, since wording, a legal notice is extremely important if the case reaches court, and citing of the law under which you have raised the claim is essential, having a legal expert prepare your legal notice will work to your advantage.
The same applies to replying to a legal notice too, since here too one may not know the appropriate law to be used to respond to the claims demanded by the other party.
Following is a sample of a legal notice for money recovery that is drafted in the section below.
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