Legal Notice is a formal document to opposite party mentioning to them your intention of filing a lawsuit against him/her if the demands are not fulfilled or proper steps are not implemented to improvise the present situation. There are two parties involved in a legal notice. The client who sends or on whose behalf the legal notice is sent, the party for whom the legal notice is sent. The notice explains in detail the grievances of the sender and sets a limited and an appropriate deadline for the receiver to settle or resolve the dispute or to reply to it.
Before filing a court case, it’s essential for the person having grievances to send a legal notice to the conflicting party and usually the dispute gets resolved on mere receiving a legal notice. Such is the power of a legal notice. Filing a case in the court and settling it within the Government purview can be tedious, expensive yet rather very slow. Companies prefer settling cases outside of the court room through negotiation, mediation or arbitration. These days, companies before making a contract with the individuals/companies usually sign a arbitration clause of not approaching the court for settling the dispute rather reaching up to a resolution through the process of negotiation.
Though, it may be the case, negotiations do not work and the conflicting parties may have to approach the court to serve justice to the matter. In those cases, the sender will have to wait for the expiry of the duration of time provided in the legal notice; the unresponsive nature of the receiver or an inappropriate or an unsatisfying reply from the other individual gives the person having a problem, a right to approach the court to settle the dispute.
Basic Know-how of Legal Notice
An advocate prepares legal notice after listening and understanding the case from the client. It is one’s responsibility to reveal all the information to his advocate which would allow the advocate to work in an efficient manner. No fact or information can be corrected once the legal notice is sent and one cannot back off or disagree with the information.
It’s not compulsory that an advocate has to send a legal notice, anyone can write a legal notice for the purpose. However, a legal notice written by an advocate would carry the preciseness and charm as (s)he is a professional in the legal matters and has all knowledge regarding the same. But if you consider yourself competent in writing a legal notice, then go ahead with the task.
Another common occurrence, people get confused between a legal notice and a letter. A person who is unaware of the difference usually ends up replying in a casual manner or admitting all the claims laid down by the sender. In such a case, the sender gets an undue advantage in the court. Therefore, be careful while handling a legal notice and reply as soon as possible as time is an important factor in the legal matters.
Legal Notice is usually filed in civil cases as all cases pertaining to criminal offences are dealt by the Government. However, you can file a lawsuit against the Government (a Government official/ employee), however, that also follows a similar procedure initiating with a legal notice.
Legal Notice as in the Indian Constitution
Under section 80 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the Government makes it compulsory to send a legal notice to explain it to the other party that his/her act knowingly or unknowingly has created a problem for the person. Section 80 deals with filing of Legal Notice in civil cases against Government.
No suits shall be instituted against the Government (including the Government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir) or against a public officer in respect of any act purporting to be done by such officer in his official capacity, until the expiration of two months after notice in writing has been delivered.
Exception to Filing of Legal Notice – A suit to obtain an urgent or immediate relief against the Government may be instituted, with leave of the Court, without serving any notice but the Court shall not grant relief in the suit, except after giving to the Government or public officer.
Replying to a Legal Notice
Is it essential to reply to a legal Notice? No, it is not mandatory to reply to a Legal Notice. But replying to a legal notice, generally, puts one in a better position and explains that one has a clean slate and nothing to hide. One must not assume that replying to a legal notice and stating all relevant and applicable laws will put one in a better position in the courtroom as if the case has reached courtroom then the legal notice are no more considered, there are only a means to cross check the claims laid down by both the conflicting parties. If you wish to reply to a Legal Notice, make sure you read the contents of the notice carefully and reply in a precise manner and prefer to consult a professional for the same.