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Legal notice and reply to legal notice

Legal notice is a formal communication between two parties where the sender conveys their intention to take legal action against the receiver if their (i.e., the sender’s) demands are not fulfilled. The receiver’s written response to the legal notice is called a reply to the legal notice.

Parties involved:

  • Sender

    The sender is someone who is allegedly aggrieved by the receiver’s conduct and intends to take legal actions against the receiver if they do not amend their conduct according to his/her  demands. Sender could either be an individual or a company.

  • Receiver

    The receiver is someone against whom the sender has certain grievances and intends to take legal actions in case his/her demands are not fulfilled. Receiver could also be an individual or a company. 

Essentials of legal notice and reply to legal notice

Legal notice:

  • Parties

    A legal notice should include the name and address of both the sender as well as the receiver. 

  • Relevant facts

    It should include details of the receiver’s actions that have caused harm or injury to you as the sender. No relevant and important information should be left out.

  • Cause of action

    It should mention your rights that are affected by the actions of the receiver. It should also specify the laws and provisions that grant you such rights. Cause of action refers to the facts or actions of the receiver that enables you to take legal action against them, under relevant laws.

  • Relief

    It should clearly lay down your demands and requirements from the receiver. What is the purpose and objective behind sending the legal notice? Do you want the receiver to alter their actions, to compensate you for any loss or damage, or any such legally valid requirements?

  • Consequences

    It should mention the consequence of not fulfilling your demands. This consequence is usually filing a legal suit against the receiver. The receiver should be given a reasonable time to settle the matter.

Reply to legal notice:

  • Relevant facts

    If you as a receiver feel that the facts mentioned by the sender are not accurate then you can contest them in your reply and mention the relevant facts that are true according to you.

  • Denials

    You can deny all such accusations of the sender that you do not agree with.

  • Plan of action

    Your reply to the legal notice should include your desired plan of action. It should mention if you would like to negotiate and settle the matter, if you are willing to accept the demands of the sender or if you do not agree with the sender’s demands and do not intend to fulfill the same.  

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Why do you need to send a legal notice and reply to legal notice?

Legal notice:

  • Warning
    It ensures that the receiver is aware of their responsibilities and of the consequences if they fail to perform such responsibilities.
  • Resolution of dispute

    It gives adequate chance to both parties to resolve the dispute through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. 

  • Amicable settlement

    Litigation is usually a time and money-consuming process. In order to avoid the costs of litigation, both parties often try their best to settle the dispute out of the courts.

Reply to legal notice:

  • High probability of prolonged litigation

    Even though a reply to legal notice is not mandatory under the law, in most cases not replying leads to litigation. 

  • May place a higher degree of blame

    The sender may try to place higher blame on you during legal proceedings owing to your inaction.

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Are you one of these?

  • Recovery of money
  • Consumer complaint
  • Workplace misconduct like harassment, payment of salary due, wrongful termination, publication of confidential information, etc.
  • Property disputes like the eviction of a tenant, non-payment of rent, wrongful occupation, etc.
  • Family or matrimonial disputes like restitution of conjugal rights, divorce, maintenance, etc.
  • Any contractual breach – whether oral or written contracts

Do you relate to any of these statements?

  • Your demands from the other party are unique to your circumstances
  • You as a  receiver of a legal notice have specific justifications for your actions, peculiar to your circumstances 
  • You wish to amicably settle the matter as soon as possible

Then you definitely need a customized legal notice or a reply to the legal notice and not just a standard template.