YOUR RIGHT TO “LEGAL NOTICE” FOR DUE PROCESS
Almost everyone has received mail that they might be entitled to be in a Class Action law suit. Because of the sheer notice of lawsuits filed in Indiana (and other states) in the course of a year, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided a key case about what you must know to comport with the law.
Specifically, in the Adoption of B.C.H (2014), the Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of a case the Court of Appeals affirmed. Among other legal holdings, the case held that a person may have actual notice of a legal matter that might affect his or her rights. But that is different from legal notice.
Legal notice is actual written notice to a person (or waiver of the person of the legal notice) that he or she may have his or her rights impacted, changed, limited, or (theoretically) expanded by the litigation. In this adoption case, the maternal grandparents--who had raised an infant a few days from birth to four years of age--knew generally an adoption was occurring.
However, there was no evidence that the grandparents knew this would change their care-giving with the child. After the adoption and the child was removed from their care, the grandparents challenged the adoption on various grounds, including the right know their right in a legal sense and to be heard.
The Court of Appeals was divided on “actual” notice (the grandparents generally were aware of the adoption) versus legal notice to the grandparents (indicating it might impact their care-giving role), the Indiana Supreme Court set the adoption aside. Thus, in a multitude of legal cases, you have the right to actual legal notice to comport with due process of law.
If you did not receive legal notice in your case, you may want to consult your lawyer. This could be a basis for challenge. Or if you are the litigant, you may want to ensure you provide proper legal notice. The understanding of the rights at hand is the hallmark of the American system of justice.
We hope you find this blog post helpful. It was written by attorney Bryan L. Ciyou. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys practice throughout the state. This blog post is written for general educational purposes and is not intended as a solicitation for legal services or advice in a specific matter.