A Legal Notice can be defined as a formal communication to any person or a legal entity, informing the other party of your intention to undertake legal proceedings against them. Therefore, legal notice is a legal intimation sent to the opponent indicating that the aggrieved is preparing to file a lawsuit against the concern in case the demand mentioned in the relevant notice is not fulfilled. This notice conveys your intention prior to the legal proceedings and thus, makes the party aware of your grievance.
When to send a Legal Notice?
A legal notice is generally issued by an advocate appointed by the victim, on behalf of his/her client for the purpose of soliciting a settlement. There are numerous reasons for which one can send a legal notice to a person or a legal entity. However, the most common reasons are as follows:
- Property related disputes for example mortgage, delay in possession delivery by the builder, eviction of the tenant on unreasonable grounds, partition of family property, etc.
- Notice to the employer for terminating employees wrongfully, unpaid salary, violation of rights of the employees by the employer etc.
- Notice to any employee for violation of the HR policies, committing sexual harassment at workplace, leaving the job without dropping the resignation letter, violation of any provision of the employment agreement etc.
- Notice to a company manufacturing or providing service of contaminated/low standard products, negligent services, fraudulent advertisement etc.
- Notice in the case of cheque bounce to the issuer of the cheque.
- Notice regarding personal conflicts for instance divorce, maintenance, child custody, division of maternal property etc.
How Legal Notice is useful in various situations
- Consumer Forums: In case, a faulty product or service is provided to a person he or she can send a legal notice to the concerned person and ask him to rectify the deficiencies.
- Disputes related to property such as partition, eviction or issues relating to possession of the property.
- Loan Defaulters: Under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act), the debt recovery proceedings begin by sending a legal notice to the defaulters.
- Cases under the Negotiable Instruments Act: In case of dishonour of cheque, the aggrieved can send a legal notice for recovery of payment.
- Money Recovery Cases: The first step in money recovery cases is sending a legal notice to the concerned person.
- Employee and Employer/Company: If the employer in any way deprives the employees of their salary, then the employee can send a legal notice to the employer.
It is a tool to save time and cost of litigation as it opens the door for the parties to settle the matter through negotiation, mediation or arbitration.
Importance of Filing a Legal Notice
These days, courts are overburdened with cases. Because of these situations nowadays, litigation is the last resort for anyone who wants to have a quick solution to his problem. A formal legal proceeding is a very slow and costly process. This is why before filing a suit, one should always file a legal notice. It is important to file a legal notice because of the following reasons:
- Through a legal notice, the plaintiff can convey his grievances to the recipient in a detailed manner.
- The receiver of the notice can address those grievances to save himself from a formal legal proceeding.
- The matter can be settled outside the court without getting into the hassle of litigation.
- Legal notice gives an opportunity to parties to settle their dispute through Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms.