What are the key points to remember when drafting a legal notice?

What are the key points to remember when drafting a legal notice?

Date : 06 Feb, 2019

Post By admin

What are the key points to remember when drafting a legal notice?


A “Legal Notice”  is a notice indicating your opponent that you are preparing to litigate a lawsuit against him in case the so called demand is not fulfilled.


A Legal notice is a formal written document sent by a person or an entity with respect to some grievance. It is sent as a warning to the receiver that the one sending the notice have certain grievances which are not properly taken care of by the receiver, although the receiver has given enough opportunity to the receiver to resolve the problem.


In today’s world we enter into numerous litigations with individuals/firms wherein filing of civil suit becomes imperative which we do generally file. Some individuals/firms enters into litigation straightaway while others opt for serving a notice upon opponent of giving out intention filing of a civil suit in court of competent jurisdiction. There are certain legislations which make it mandatory to file a legal notice before filing  any litigation otherwise that litigation will be bad in law. For eg. The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1938. It therefore becomes important for us to understand as to what is meant by Legal Notice which is discussed herein.


There are several occasions when a person or an entity needs to take a legal action against another person or an entity. The several occasions can be consumer complaint, property dispute, check bounce, divorce, eviction and many more. However, it is important for you to inform the other person that you are going to initiate a legal action against them. That is the reason, you send a legal notice to a person or an entity.


A Legal Notice is generally filed in civil cases. In the criminal cases, there is no filing of the legal notice as in case of a criminal offense the action is instituted by the State against the person committing the offense as State is the supreme power. However, if you intend to initiate a civil suit against the Government you have to serve a legal notice to the Government beforehand and only thereafter you can file a civil suit against the Government.

Section 80 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 provides for sending of a legal notice to the Government or public officer if one wants to initiate a legal action against them for any act claimed to be done by such public officer during the course of his official duty until the expiration of two months. The purpose of the notice is to give Secretary of State or the public officer a chance to reevaluate his legal position and to offer some kind of compensation without going to a court of law.


Some of the key point which needs to be kept in mind while drafting a legal notice are as under:

*Address & Title: A legal notice must contain the complete and correct address of the persons to whom it is addressed so that it may successfully delivered to them.

Secondly legal notice must contain proper title such as ‘Legal Notice under section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act’, ‘Notice under section 433 of Companies Act for winding up’.

*Facts: A legal notice must contains the complete facts of the matter in dispute so that the other party cannot take plea before the court that same are afterthought and the complete and true facts are not narrated before the court.

It should clearly spell out the matters which forced the sender to take this extreme step of issuing legal notice. It states in complete details about the violations and/or breach committed on the part of the receiver.

*Demand: A legal notice must contain the details of the demands of the sender of the notice as what he wants from the receiver of the notice or what he expect the receiver to do or not to do. Secondly legal notice should mention a reasonable time to be given to the receiver to comply with the demands of the sender or such time period as may be specifically prescribed in the statutes (e.g. N.I. Act etc.), so that the receiver may comply the demands.

Further in a legal notice there must a clear warning be given to the receiver to the effect that if the demands of the sender are not fulfilled or complied with then the sender will initiate appropriate legal proceedings against him in the court of law.

*Consequences: A legal notice must contain the consequences or action that may follow in case the demands are not met in time.


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