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Difference Between Caveat Petition And Legal Notice

Updated on:  

08 min read

A civil suit contains multiple procedures and involves different types of documents, petitions or applications. Many documents are filed before the court, and copies of these documents must be provided to the opposite parties in a suit. Two such documents are legal notice and caveat petition.

A caveat petition and legal notice are issued as per the procedures laid down in the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. However, there are differences between a legal notice and a caveat petition. Section 148A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 contains provisions relating to a caveat petition. A caveat petition is filed by a person to the court, stating that if someone files an application against him/her, the court must issue a notice of such application to the person filing the caveat.

A legal notice is issued in civil cases by an individual stating his/her grievances caused by the other party and to provide relief to such grievances within the specified time. It is an official communication informing the other party of the institution (or a possibility of institution) of legal proceedings against him/her if the relief sought in the notice is not provided.

Caveat Petition

A caveat petition is a precautionary measure undertaken by an individual anticipating that another individual may file an application in a suit or proceeding instituted or about to be instituted against him/her in the court. It is a formal notice through which a person receives intimation before any legal actions are taken against him/her. A ‘Caveat’ is a Latin phrase that generally means ‘let a person beware’. 

The person filing the caveat petition is known as the caveator.  A caveat petition is filed by the caveator, asking the court to intimate him/her if another person files any application in a suit or proceeding against the caveator. In the caveat petition, the caveator claims his right to appear before the court on hearing the application filed against him.

After filing the caveat, if the opposite party files an application in a suit or proceeding, the court has to compulsorily serve the notice of the application filed to the caveator. The court will send notice of the application to the caveator and the caveat petition to the applicant.  The applicant will have to serve a copy of the application along with the documents filed before the court to the caveator.

The caveat petition will be valid for only 90 days. The caveat petition will not be in force after 90 days. Thus, if the applicant files an application before the court after 90 days of filing a caveat petition, the court need not inform the caveator of the application.

The caveat petition should contain the following details:

  • Name of the court before which the caveat is filed
  • The suit or petition or appeal number, if existing
  • Brief details of the application likely to be filed by the applicant in a suit or proceeding 
  • Name of the caveator
  • Names of possible applicants
  • Address of the caveator for service of the notice when an application is filed against him/her
  • Address of the opposite party/applicant where notice of the caveat is to sent by RPAD

A legal notice is given only in civil cases. An individual intending to file a civil suit against another person must first send him a legal notice. The individual must specify to the opposite party that if he does not fulfil his legal duty/obligation towards the individual, then he/she will proceed to file a suit in court.

A suit can be instituted against the opposite party only after issuing notice to the opposite party. The procedure of issuing notice authorises the individual to file a suit against the opposite party. A legal notice is an official communication of the initiation of lawful action against an individual or entity.

The legal notice must contain the following:

  • Name and address of the parties
  • Facts and grievances caused by the opposite party to the individual issuing notice 
  • Compensation sought by the individual issuing notice from the opposite party
  • Intimation of taking legal action against the opposite party, if the opposite party does not address the grievance within the mentioned time
  • Signature of the person issuing notice 

How does a Caveat Petition Differ from a Legal Notice?

A caveat petition is filed when the caveator expects an application to be filed by the opposite party in any suit or proceeding against him/her. A legal notice is issued when an individual faces some grievance and intends to take action against the opposite party. 

A caveat petition contains the information of the expected application, which might be filed against the caveator in a suit or proceeding already instituted or about to be instituted against him/her. A legal notice contains statements and facts related to the grievances faced by the person issuing the notice and seeks relief from the opposite party. 

The caveat petition acts as a precautionary measure taken by the caveator against the expected application to be filed by the opposite party, whereas a legal notice acts as a warning to the opposite party before taking legal action against him/her. The caveator files the caveat petition to the court, whereas the legal notice is issued to the opposite party by the person issuing it. 

The court will inform the caveator when the application is filed against him/her by serving the notice of the application. The court will also serve the caveat petition to the applicant/opposite party. A legal notice is served directly by the person issuing it to the other party through a registered post.

The caveat petition is valid for only 90 days from the date of its filing. The caveator has a right to be informed and can claim a hearing in the application filed against the caveator if it is filed within 90 days of filing the caveat. A legal notice will specify the period within which the opposite party needs to compensate or address the grievance faced by the person issuing the notice. If the opposite party does not address the grievance within the time mentioned in the notice, then legal proceedings can be undertaken against the opposite party, and a suit can be instituted.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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