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Legal Notice Guide: Need for Public Notices

Why do we need public notices?

Citizens must have access to information concerning government activities and civil proceedings. Legal notices published in newspapers provide this opportunity since the public has a right to know. These publications are an effective instrument because they have become the traditional source of public notices. Newspapers function as a neutral third party and are objective in their publishing of legal notices.


Three Types of Public Notices:

  1. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION NOTICES allow the public the time and opportunity to respond to proposed government action. These notices also fulfill the requirement of “prior notice required for due process of law” found in Federal and State constitutions. Such notices include notices of public hearings, intentions to create new taxation or benefit zones, and publication of local budgets.

  2. BUSINESS AND COMMERCE NOTICES are related to government contracts and purchases. Such notices verify that the government is following the principles of equal opportunity and allow the public to verify that the government is not misusing taxpayers’ money.

  3. COURT NOTICES are prepared by non-governmental bodies. Notices to creditors, and claims on probated estates serve as notification to the public and allow time for a response, objection or assertion of a claim.