When to use a Legal Notice?
At times, it might happen that an individual or entity might have to take legal action against another individual or entity. This legal action can be caused due to several issues like property disputes, eviction, consumer complaints, etc. During such unfortunate hours, the person taking the action must inform the other party about the action being initiated, and that is when they send them a legal notice to basically pass on the information.
What is a Legal Notice?
A legal notice is an official written document that creates a communication between two parties. In most cases, the sender alarms or warns the other parties of their grievances because of which they are intending to take legal action against the latter. In this manner, the receiver of the notice also becomes aware of the grievances of the sender. A legal notice can be called as a warning to the receiver to take some actions and settle the grievances of the former in order to settle matters outside the court. Therefore, this is a method in which matters can be settled without litigation procedures being involved, and instead by negotiating, and some mediation and arbitration. Legal notice can be filed in accordance with Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and can be filed only for civil cases.
A legal notice is meant to carry the following information:
- The recipient’s name and address must be there.
- The specific causes and grievances because of which the legal proceedings will be taken by the sender must be mentioned.
- Ways and alternatives of settlement that the sender party prefers in a situation like this.
- The modes in which the problems can be settled and that is outside the court.
The legal notice can be drafted by the sender himself, or by the letterhead of the concerned legal advisor. It can be sent to the other party directly or via his lawyer. A well-written legal notice can very conveniently solve issues between the two parties without taking matters to the court if both are open to compromise on the matter.
These are some mandatory information that a well-crafted legal notice should contain:
- Name of the recipient and required details.
- Permanent residential address of the sender.
- The statement explaining the cause of legal action.
- The relief that the sender claims (can be monetary or other).
- The legal basis of the relief claims summarized.
Legal notice and its uses
- Consumer Forum: In the case of buying and selling of goods, when the faulty service is provided, a legal notice enumerating grievances along with relief claims can be sent to the seller. Usually, when the seller fails to fulfill their responsibility of good supply to consumers, the latter can send a legal notice to the seller. Vice versa applies when the consumer is dissatisfied with the goods and services provided by the seller.
- Matters of Land and Property: Problems and disputes related to property and land, such as eviction of the tenants, the partition of property, mortgages, succession, delay in the delivery of possession by builders, and others can result in a legal notice being sent from the bothered party to the party concerned. Such discrepancies and disputes can be settled out of court if both parties agree to mutually talk it out, and negotiate to solve the issues.
- Matters Involving Employers and Employees: Both employer and employee can send legal notices to each other in many situations. Any employee can send a legal notice to the employer if they are facing any violation of their rights, when salary is not received, or wrongful termination. Similarly, employers can also send legal notices to the employee if they have violated any of the provisions made in the employment agreement, violated HR policies, in cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, and more.
- Financial matters: Legal notice can be sent from one party to the other in matters regarding money, like repayment of loans, check bouncing cases, and recovery of money. The sender has to mention their grievance in a well-stated legal notice, and matters can be settled outside court if the receiver agrees to make the right amends. Especially in case of default in the repayment of loans, as per the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act), the process of debt recovery begins with a legal notice being sent to the defaulter for the payment recovery.
- Personal cases: Legal notices can be sent in case of personal situations like divorce, child custody, maintenance, etc.
What happens after you receive a legal notice?
It is like an intimation sent by the sender to the receiver about all the grievances that he or she holds against the receiver and how he or she wants to resolve it. You can go for an out of court settlement in such a case and get it done with.
Is legal notice a serious matter?
Legal notice is an official statement and you must take it seriously if you receive one. Rejecting any legal notice twice can be recorded as a hint of refusal by the court against you and they can also take actions for that if they deem it fit.
Who can send you a legal notice?
Usually, a legal notice is sent on behalf of the client by an advocate to the recipient but if you want you can also draft your own legal notice and get it authorized before sending the same.
How do you answer a legal notice?
The reply has to be drafted according to the notice received by the recipient. It either has to be addressed to the advocate of the sender or the sender himself accordingly.
What are the charges of getting a legal notice drafted?
The advocates do not have any fixed rate that they charge for drafting a legal notice. Depending on the complications of the matter that they are filing the notice for, it can range from just a thousand rupees to some lakhs even.