Legal Notice - An Overview
Legal notice is a form of action that is taken against a specific entity or an individual. The action which is taken would be formally intimating them that proceedings would be initiated against them. This process of formal intimation is known as a legal notice. The procedure for intimating the other party about the notice would ensure that the other party is notified in accordance to law.
Legal notice is served on the other party because it serves as a process to enter into some form of negotiations or mediation and not go to court. If the party does not respond to the notice, then the party is implying that legal proceedings can be commenced against the party.
Essentials of a Legal Notice
Under section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 the following essentials related to the notice must be adhered by the parties. The following essentials have to be present in a legal notice:
- All the facts and allegations have to be specified by the party serving the legal notice.
- There must be particular options related to providing the relief to the aggrieved party.
- Summary of Facts must be provided
- The brief must include all the problems which have to be considered by the parties.
Components of a Legal Notice
The following components require to be present in a legal notice:
- Name of the parties
- Address of the party serving the notice
- Address of the party receiving the notice
- Brief Summary of the Facts
- Monetary Relief
Costs Involved in a Legal Notice
When it comes to costs of a legal notice, then the drafting costs would be considered. Consultation fee of a lawyer including drafting the same would cost between Rs.3000/- to Rs. 6000.
However, if you consider a claim which is worth Rs. 1000/- then settling the same through effective negotiation would be suitable when compared to that of drafting the notice. Hence drafting the legal notice is quite costly, giving the fact if the claim is of minimum value.
Benefits of a Legal Notice
The following are the benefits of drafting a legal notice:
As the legal notice is drafted, all the facts related to the legal notice would be recorded. Hence there is conclusive proof regarding the facts that are recorded through the legal notice.
A legal notice is a formal intimation to the other party regarding taking the proceedings to court. If the proceedings are not settled through negotiations, then it would go to the court. Hence it provides the opportunity for the parties to consider all avenues before going to court.
The parties through the legal notice would get an opportunity to utilise negotiation process if they do not want to go to court. Hence unnecessary expenses and expenditure would not be wasted by the parties by considering and filing a legal notice.
- Less Expense
By filing a notice to the other party, there is less expense. For example the parties can utilise out of court settlement procedures. Methods and procedures related to mediation, negotiation and out of court settlement can be utilised to resolve the matter between the parties. Vexatious litigation would involve waste of time of the parties and also lot of expense related to the court process.
By formally using legal notice, the consensus of the parties would be considered.
When can a legal notice be filed by the parties?
In the following circumstances, a notice can be filed by the parties
- Dismissal by employer
- Breach of contract
- Cheque Bouncing Case
- Breach of any form of agreement or trust
- Breach of Private Equity or Partnership Deed
- Violation of Rules related to labour law compliance
- Sexual harassment
- Pay Disputes
- Illegal Termination of Employment
Procedure for Legal Notice
1. First and foremost the party or aggrieved party would want to draft a legal notice. Here the notice would include what is the summary of the facts. The remedy which the party seeks would also be mentioned in the legal notice. A particular period (timeframe) would require to be provided to the party. This notice must be sent to the authorised post of the party.
2. After serving the notice, a copy of the notice must be saved by the party.
3. The legal notice is sent to the defendant. Hence the defendant or the entity would have to respond within a particular period of time.
4. If the party ignores the legal notice, then it would be summarily served. That means the party has accepted to go to the court for legal proceedings.
5. It would be useful to utilise the services of a lawyer or a legal party when drafting a legal notice. Legal terminologies along with the notice must be provided to the parties.
6. If the party is considering replying to the legal notice, then seeking services of a lawyer would be suitable. If the notice is served on a legal or government officer, then this has to be served as per the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
What are the details to be included in a Legal Notice?
The name of the parties: The name of the plaintiff and the defendant
- Why the Notice is served on the respondent.
- The address for serving the notice on the respondent.
- Facts must be stated in accordance to the requirements of a legal notice. For example if the notice comprises a civil suit, then commercial or civil facts must be laid down. However, if the suit is related to a property dispute then such facts must also be stated in the notice.
- It is important to utilise fully the services of the lawyer. The lawyer would understand if there is a requirement to reply to a legal notice.
- If the defendant agrees to settle the suit without going to court, then there are different methods for settling the suit before going to court.
- If the defendant wants to defend the suit, then the plaintiff has to reply to the defence.
- In the next step, the defendant would get time to prepare to defend the legal notice. As the proceedings would go to the court, it would be suitable to consider expert advice of the lawyer.
Documents for Legal Notice
There are as such no documents required to be produced for a legal notice. However, when the party is drafting the plaint or compliant related to a legal notice then the following documents have to be provided:
- Issue in Hand
- Relevant Copies of the Documents such as employment letter, emails and correspondences
- Relevant Copy of the Contract - In case there has been a breach of contract
- Any other email correspondence or invoices
- If it is a cheque bounce case, then the copy of the bank statement may be required to be produced.