When to send a legal notice? – Things to remember

When to send a legal notice? – Things to remember

Legal & Compliance

Vakilsearch Staff

Vakilsearch Staff

13 Dec 2019, 16:30 — 7 min read

Background: Legal notice is essentially an official communication to a person or an entity, informing the other party about the intention to undertake legal proceedings against them. In their previous article, Vakilsearch shared details about Shop and Establishment registration. In this article they explain the validity, scope and implications of a legal notice.

legal notice in many cases works like the ultimatum sent in the form of a written document to a person or an entity to inform them about your grievances and ask them for a remedy, rejection of which will result in legal actions against them.  A final warning before things go downhill is always a good sign of showing that you do not want to sever the relationship completely. In India, legal notices are the initiating step to a legal proceeding. 

The basic intention of a legal notice is to give the party a chance to settle the dispute without a court proceeding and to find a simpler way to compensate for the losses incurred by the aggrieved party.


A legal notice can be sent against a person or a company by any person whose legal rights have been infringed or have suffered some legal damage because of a third party. The basic intention of a legal notice is to give the party a chance to settle the dispute without a court proceeding and to find a simpler way to compensate for the losses incurred by the aggrieved party.

The validity of a legal notice

A legal notice is something specific to civil suits. A notice cannot be issued for a criminal suit as the criminal action is taken by the state against the offender, so there will be no need for a legal notice in criminal cases. There is always a possibility of issuing a legal notice against the government when you intend on filing a civil suit against the state. However, the notice must be served prior to the suit and only then can you take legal action against the state. Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 also provides for issuing a legal notice against a public or government officer who infringed the issuing party’s rights during the course of their work. The provision, however, limits the duration to two months after the incident occurred.

Also read: Why Privacy Policy is important for a business


Why do we need a legal notice?

  • In case of confusion about filing a suit, a legal notice serves as a good head start in situations where there is no prior litigation experience
  • It provides a clear cut image of the sender’s intention to start a legal proceeding to resolve their issue and avail the appropriate remedies
  • Serving a notice always gives an opportunity for the parties to cordially resolve the dispute without the interference of the court
  • It acts as a reminder for the receiver about the damage that occurred due to their actions irrespective of whether it was done intentionally or unintentionally

When can one send a legal notice?

There could be a variety of reasons to send a legal notice to a person or an entity. Few of which are as follows:

  • Notice served to the employee by the employer for violation of any terms mentioned as per the employment contract, sexually harassing a co-employee, violating the HR policies of the company, abruptly walking out of the job without prior notice, etc.
  • Notice to the employer for unpaid salary, violation of the employment agreement, termination without reasonable cause, etc.
  • Notice issued against the issuer of a cheque when the cheque bounces.
  • Disputes related to property such as ownership disputes, mortgage, eviction of occupants, etc.
  • Notice to a family member for personal issues such as divorce, child custody, inheritance disputes, etc.
  • Notice to manufacturing companies complaining about the delivery of faulty products or providing faulty services, etc.

Pointers for serving a legal notice

  • If you do not have prior experience in drafting a legal notice, it is always advisable to hire a civil lawyer to draft the document for you. It is also necessary that a lawyer signs the notice even when he did not draft it. The notice must be drafted in a lawyer’s letter pad
  • Once the notice is sent out, there is no turning back because there can be no changes made thereafter
  • All details of the legal damage caused and the necessary information of the receiver must be mentioned clearly and all related documents must also be gathered accordingly beforehand.
  • The legal notice can either be sent physically or through online modes.
  • A stipulated time of 30-60 days must be provided for the receiver to respond to the notice
  • The notice must be drafted in such a way that the receiver will have no other option than to submit to the terms of the sender and also avoid the need to initiate a legal proceeding
  • The requisite facts and expected remedies must be precise and accurate to the point that the receiver cannot deny it. The legal aspect; i.e. the laws under which the remedy is being claimed, must also be elaborated clearly
  • In case of cheque bounce, the legal notice must be served within 30 days of the date that the cheque bounced. The legal suit can be filed if there is no repayment of the money after 15 days of serving the notice

Though legal notice is not mandatory to be served for all cases, lawyers, however, send it in the hope that the dispute gets resolved without having a court proceeding. Serving a legal notice is a way to establish the intentions of the sender and provide the receiver with a final chance to come to a consensus about the issue in hand without the interference of lengthy court proceedings.

Also read: 7 key legal documents required for your business

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.


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