Notice - Encyclopedia

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NOTICE, a term primarily meaning knowledge (Lat. notitia), as in "judicial notice"; thence it comes to signify the means of bringing to knowledge, as in "notice to quit"; at last it may be used even for the actual writing by which notice is given. The most important legal uses of the word are judicial notice and the equitable doctrine of notice. Judicial notice is the recognition by courts of justice of certain facts or events without proof. Thus in England the courts take judicial notice of the existence of states and sovereigns recognized by the sovereign of England, of the dates of the calendar, the date and place of the sittings of the legislature, &c. The equitable doctrine of notice is that a person who purchases an estate, although for valuable consideration, after notice of a prior equitable right, will not be enabled by getting in the legal estate to defeat that right. On the other hand, a purchaser for valuable consideration without notice of an adverse title is as a rule protected in his enjoyment of the property. Other common uses of the word are notice to quit, i.e. a notice required to be given by landlord to tenant, or by tenant to landlord in order to terminate a tenancy (see Landlord And Tenant); notice of dishonour, i.e. a notice that a bill of exchange has been dishonoured; notice of action, i.e. a notice to a person of an action intended to be brought against him, which is required by statute to be given in certain cases; notice of trial, i.e. the notice given by a plaintiff to a defendant that he intends to bring on the cause for trial; notice in lieu of personal service of a writ, i.e. by advertisement or otherwise; notice given by one party in an action to the other, at a trial, to produce certain documents in his possession or power; notice to treat, given under the Land Clauses Acts by public bodies having compulsory powers of purchasing land as a preliminary step to putting their powers in force. Notice may be either express or constructive. The latter is where knowledge of a fact is presumed from the circumstances of the case, e.g. notice to a solicitor is usually constructive notice to the client. Notice in some cases may be either oral or written. It is usually advisable to give written notice even where oral evidence is sufficient in law, as in the case of notice to quit. The American use of notice is practically the same as in England.

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