Nowadays, we enter into various litigation for some or the other issue. Some prefer to file litigation while others opt to serve a notice to the opponent by showing their intention to file a suit in the appropriate jurisdiction. A legal notice is a written document sent to a person or entity to inform about the grievances and ask them for a remedy, rejection of which will result in legal action against them. Legal notice is the initial step to a legal proceeding. It can be sent against the person or a company by any person whose legal rights have been infringed or have suffered some legal damage.
A legal notice is always specific to civil suits. A notice cannot be issued for a criminal suit, as criminal activity is always taken against the offender. It is necessary to serve notice before filing the lawsuit. The primary intention is to give a chance to the party for settlement of dispute without approaching the court. It is easier to compensate for the losses incurred by the aggrieved person.
Importance of legal notice:
The situation arises when one gets confused to initiate a legal proceeding to resolve the matter. Following are the various pointers proving the importance of legal notice:
- It contains the clear intention of the sender to file a lawsuit to resolve the issue with other parties.
- A sender can describe his grievance with the help of an Advocate.
- Serving legal notice allows the receiver to resolve issues out of the court.
- It acts as a reminder for receiver about the acts that have intentionally or unintentionally done creating a problem for a sender.
Legal Notice must include the following things:
- Name, description and residential address of the sender
- Name and address of the person against whom the sender has grievances
- Material fact, Summary of the fact/ Cause of Action
- Summary of relief claimed
- Reasonable time to reply the notice by a receiver
- Signature of Lawyer and Client is a must.
Procedure to file Legal Notice:
It is essential to draft notice meticulously. We are not aware of the legal importance and meaning of the common words which we use casually.
- Draft the notice (It is always advisable to avail the services of a lawyer to avoid the mistakes.)
- The notice should be drafted under a letterhead of an Advocate
- Prefer colour print of the notice consisting logo of the Advocate
- Keep two copies of the notice, one with sender and one to the receiver
- Notice to be sent through Registered AD post
- Copy of receipt of post office and notice should be kept with the sender.
- It should be noted that while writing a legal notice, one should be extremely careful about every word used in the notice since it cannot be denied in the court of law. Once the legal notice is dispatched, no changes can be made, or one cannot make a contradictory statement from the content stated in the legal notice.
Reply to the Notice:
It is not mandatory to reply to the notice, but it is advisable to do so as no reply can add advantage to the opposite side of the further court proceeding starts. The consequences of not replying notice is not an offence under the law, but if replied, there are chances to put an end to the litigation at the start. The reply must be given in the stipulated time mentioned in the notice by the sender. There is no relevance of a legal notice as soon as the court proceeding starts. In case if the receiver does not appear despite serving summons, then the court shall pass an ex-parte order (order in the absence of the other party not appearing).
Checklist to reply to the notice:
Read the contents of legal notice, or the content mentioned in the agreement between the parties.
- It is necessary to check the limitation period to reply to the notice
- Check the contractual obligation of the claimant
- If the content mentioned in the notice is not relevant, then one can counter-threat through a claim or damages against the sender.