A legal notice is the first step for almost every civil dispute. The legal notice is a way to send a notice with the help of your advocate to the third party who is in a dispute with you. The dispute can be a matrimonial, landlord and tenant dispute, any dispute with builder, sale and purchase dispute, employer and employee dispute or many more. The legal notice can also be served to the Government of India or any public servant. Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure deals with it.
In simple words, a legal notice can be sent to the opposite party in any case except criminal cases. Because in criminal cases, there is a need for an FIR, not legal notice.
You can send legal notice in any case of civil nature with the help of your advocate.
You can say that legal notice is the first step from your side by which you are giving a warning to the opposite party that you are willing to institute a suit against the party because that party has done or is violating your legal rights.
What is a legal notice?
The legal notice is a written communication between two or more parties where one party takes the help of an advocate to draft a notice in which he mentions his intention of taking legal action against the opposite party. It consists of the matter between both the parties for which one party has suffered a loss due to the conduct of the opposite party.
It works like the last warning to the opposite party that the plaintiff is ready to take legal action if the opposite party is not taking necessary action to solve the dispute.
The necessity of legal notice
Now the question arises that is it legally necessary to give legal notice before the institution of the court suit?
The answer can be yes or no. There are many situations in which it becomes necessary to give legal notice to the positivity before filing the litigation in court. For example in the case of dishonour of Cheque or Cheque bounce, it is necessary to give the legal notice of Cheque bounce to another party before filing the suit in the court of law. Similarly, if you are going to file a civil suit against the central government or state government you have to give prior notice to the centre of state government that you are going to file a civil suit against them. The plaintiff can file the civil litigation in the court after the expiry of 60 days prior notice to the State government or Central government.
Importance of legal notice
A legal notice starts the journey of litigation against another party who has done any intentionally or unintentionally act which has caused you loss. It has various points which make it important:
When a person receives a legal notice from another party, the receiver of the notice comes to know that another party is going to file a lawsuit against him if they do not solve their dispute.
Easy to describe
A centre of legal notice can easily describe the matter in which he has faced the loss due to the act of another party with the help of his advocate.
Last opportunity to solve the dispute
The legal notice gives the last opportunity to the receiver of a legal notice, he can contact the sender to solve their dispute mutually.
Act as reminder
It also acts as a reminder to the opposite party about the act which he has done intentionally or unintentionally.
Benefits of legal notice
There are the following benefits of a legal notice:
Compel the party
Legal notice compels the opposite party to negotiate the loss that occurred to the person who has sent the legal notice with the help of an advocate.
The legal notice makes psychological pressure on the opposite party to solve the dispute with the help of mediation or any other way.
Works as solution
A person who sent the legal notice to the opposite party doesn’t need to be going to find civil litigation in court. The legal notice gives the solution or last chance to the opposite party e so that they can resolve their dispute outside the court mutually. But if the opposite party is not ready to resolve the dispute outside Court, then the plaintiff can file the plaint in the court of law.
Time and money-saving
In the present time, no one wants to go to court for litigation. Because the procedure of the court is the lengthiest process which takes time and money. But a legal notice camp saves your time and money because it gives you the way to solve the dispute without going to court.
Collection of documents
Whenever a person goes to his advocate for sending the legal notice to the opposite party, the advocate asks about all the necessary documents and facts of the case. It helps you to collect all the necessary documents which may be necessary if you are going to find a civil suit against the opposite party. An advocate analyzes all the documents provided by you for sending the legal notice. The Advocate will tell you about the documentary evidence which is important for your case.
One legal notice for more than one opponent
A benefit of legal notice is that you can send one legal notice for all the opponents by adding all the names of opponents.
Help to collect the evidence
Whenever you write facts in the legal notice and send it to your opponent party, he may accept or reject the facts written in the legal notice. Also, he can add new facts in the reply to the legal notice which can help you to collect the evidence related to the rejected, accepted or new facts given by the opposite party. The legal notice also is admissible evidence that can be used in the court case. So you should reply to the legal notice with the help of your advocate.
Modes of sending a legal notice
After the drafting of legal notice with the help of an advocate, a person can send it to the opposite party with the help of the following mediums:
- Registered post
- Direct courier
- Speed post
- Hand delivery
- WhatsApp messaging
There are many judgments given by the Supreme Court of India related to the delivery of legal notice through email and WhatsApp messages. The chief justice of India observed that WhatsApp allowed users to turn off the blue tick feature in WhatsApp, and it will not give conclusive proof that the legal notice has been duly served. To solve this problem, the Supreme Court of India allowed the use of email or fax machines for the service of the summons and legal notice. The court left it for the case to case consideration if notices have been properly served or not.
How to send a legal notice?
A legal notice is a notice which consists of legal terms. Sometimes it consists of legal maxims which make it difficult for a normal person to use such legal words without taking any help from a lawyer or advocate. Taking the help of a qualified advocate to draft a legal notice is the best practice.
A person has to stick to the facts which he is adding to the legal notice. He must not add any facts that may later be denied by him in front of the judge. Once a legal notice is sent to the defendant, the plaintiff cannot make any changes in it and the notice will be used as evidence in the court.
There are the following steps that should be taken while sending the legal notice:
Consult with a lawyer
The first step is to find a good lawyer who has good drafting skills. The drafting of a legal notice pressurizes the other party and sometimes it happens that after receiving the legal notice, the opposite party tries to communicate with the sender of the legal notice to solve the problems.
Choose the language of the legal notice. The legal notice can be sent in any Indian language which can be understood by both parties. Generally, the English language is preferred in maximum notices.
Details about matter
Consult with your advocate regarding your matter. Explain to him information in detail with the name of the opposite parties, addresses of the parties, information related to any written contract, Consideration or any other types of contracts (like the contract of indemnity or contract of bailment or mortgage), date of transactions, problems faced by the parties, the attempt of communication with the opposite party and issues which are creating problems. You should also provide the necessary documents which can be used as evidence.
After giving all the necessary details to your advocate, he will examine all the matters carefully with the help of that information provided by you. The Advocate may ask you to add more information that may be required for legal notice.
Drafting of legal notice
After step 4, the advocate will start the drafting of legal notice in the specified language in which he will clearly state the reason for sending the legal notice. There are necessary steps for the drafting of a legal notice:
Draft on paper or letterhead
A legal notice should be drafted on plain paper or letterhead of the lawyer. The letterhead of an advocate is considered as a proper paper or document on which the legal notice should be drafted.
Details of advocate
A legal notice should contain the address and contact details of the advocate who is drafting the legal notice so that the opposite party can contact him if they want to communicate.
Date of formation
It should contain the date on which a legal notice is issued with the details of the opposite party with address and contact details. In a situation where there are more than one opposite party, the details and addresses of all the opposite parties.
Client name and address
An advocate will write the name and address of his client with contact details. In a situation where the opposite party wants to communicate with the sender, they can use this information.
After adding the necessary details of the parties, the advocate should add all the detailed matters and issues.
Reason of legal notice
An advocate should make clear in the legal notice why his client is sending the legal notice. He should give the necessary facts about how his client’s rights are being infringed due to the act or omission done by the opposite party.
The specific solution must be given to the opposite party which must be accepted by the client.
After giving the solution, an advocate should specify the time limit in which the party can contact him or his client to solve the dispute.
The advocate will provide a reasonable time to the opposite party for settling the matter with the help of negotiation. The time given in the legal notice can be decided by the plaintiff. Usually, the notice contains a period of 30 days to 60 days. But in the matter of government or public servant, the minimum period should be given up to 60 days.
Warning of litigation
An advocate should mention the condition that if the opposite party failed to contact and solve the dispute between them, his client will file the litigation in the court of law.
Signed by party
After the drafting of a legal notice, the advocate and client will sign the legal notice.
Sending the legal notice
The signed legal notice will be sent to the opposite party through a registered post. The advocate and party will keep a copy of the legal notice with him. The purpose of sending the legal notice through a registered post is to ensure that the legal notice has been duly served to the opposite party.
Wait for reply
After the legal notice is received, it is expected that the opposite party will give the reply. But as a standard practice, the advocate calls the opposite party after some time to resolve the dispute between both parties. Normally in matrimonial cases, the advocate tries to resolve the dispute between husband and wife outside the court with the help of mediation.
What should a person do after receiving a legal notice?
There are various types of contracts between two or more parties who has the capacity to contract. Sometimes it happens that there is a breach of contract by one party. In such a situation, the other party who has faced the loss may send a legal notice.
There are many other related cases in which a person can receive a legal notice. After receiving the notice a person should take the following necessary steps:
Communicate with sender
After receiving the legal notice, the parties don’t need to take advice from the advocate. The party can directly contact the sender to communicate regarding the facts given under the legal notice. The parties can communicate with each other to resolve the dispute mutually. It will save them time and money for both parties.
Take legal help
It is your choice to communicate with other parties or not. But if you think that the dispute cannot be settled with the help of communication with the other party then you can take the help of an advocate. You can consult with your advocate by telling about all the effects from your side.
Drafting of reply
After the consultation with your advocate, he may suggest you give the reply of the legal notice. In the reply to a legal notice, advocates will deny or accept defects given under legal notice. He can also write the facts given by you.
Send the reply
After the drafting of reply I and signed by you and your advocate, the reply should be sent by the registered post to ensure that the reply has been duly served.
In this whole process, your advocate can also communicate with the lawyer of the opposite party to resolve the matter without going to court. The parties in the dispute can resolve their dispute with the help of mediation, Divorce mediation and the arbitration process.
Sample format for legal notice
Ref. No……………. Dated ____, __________
SUB.: LEGAL NOTICE
Pursuant to the instructions from and on behalf of my client ___________________, through its _____________, I do hereby serve you with the following Legal Notice: –
1- That my client is a ___________ firm/individual under the name and style of M/s ______________________.
2- That my client is engaged in the business of __________ the ___ etc.
3- That against your valid and confirmed order my client did your job work from time to time on a credit basis as you have running credit account in the account books of my client operated in due course of business.
4- That my client-raised bills of each and every work performed for payment, although you have acknowledged the receipt of such bills raised by my client.
5- That in spite of acknowledging the liability of payment of the principal balance of Rs. _________/- you have been miserably failed to make payment of the said amount due to my client from you deliberately with an intent, hence you are liable to pay the said principal balance amount of Rs. __________/- along with interest @ __% p.a. from the date of due till actual realization of the said sum as is generally and customarily prevailing in the trade usages, which comes to Rs. __________/-
6- That thus you are liable to pay the total amount of Rs. ________/- to my above-named client and my above-named client is entitled to recover the same from you.
7- That my client requested you several times through telephonic message and by sending a personal messenger to your office for release of the said outstanding payment, but you have always been dilly delaying the same on one pretext or the other and so far have not paid even a single paisa out of the said outstanding undisputed amount.
I, therefore, through this Notice finally call upon you to pay to my client Rs. __________/-. along with future interest @ __ % p.a. from the date of notice till actual realization of the said amount, together with notice fee of Rs. ____/- to my client either in cash or by demand draft or Cheque whichever mode suits you better, within clear 30 days from the date of receipt of this notice, failing which my client has given me clear instructions to file civil as well as a criminal lawsuit for recovery and other Miscellaneous proceedings against you in the competent court of law and in that event you shall be fully responsible for the same.
A copy of this Notice has been preserved in my office for record and future course of action.
The format of legal notice is taken from: https://vakilsearch.com/advice/legal-notice-format/
FAQ Related to the Legal Notice
What is a legal notice for the recovery of money?
Legal notice for recovery of money e is a notice given by one party to another party in a case where the money is involved.
How to send a legal notice in India
The legal notice can be sent on plain paper or on letterhead of an advocate. Contact with an advocate, he will draft a legal notice for you. Taking the help of an advocate to send a legal notice is not important but he will draft your notice in perfect way.
How much time does it take to create a legal notice?
It is a very time-saving notice. The advocate will ask all the necessary facts of the matter and the necessary documents so that he can create a legal document on your behalf by taking power of attorney from you. The advocate may take one or two days to make the legal notice.
Is it necessary to give the reply of legal notice?
No, it is not necessary that you have to give a reply to the legal notice. But the other party can use legal notice as evidence against you when he will file a plaint in the court of law. If you reply to the legal notice, you can reject the false information given by the person in the notice.
A legal notice is a final Warning to the opposite party. A person uses this notice when he thinks that the matter is not going to be solved anyway without going to court.
A person should always consult with the advocate before writing the legal notice. The facts given under the notice are considered conclusive evidence in the court of law. So it should be kept in mind that a person should write true facts.
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