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Before we dive into ‘How to draft a legal notice for breach of contract’, let us know what actually is a contract. A Contract could be defined as a promise enforceable by law. The promise could be to do or not to do a set of things.
These lists of promises could be made as a legal binding between parties/stakeholders with a mutual agreement to adhere to based on the definition of tasks mentioned in the document.
Once accepted and endorsed with a signature, then the parties are bound to adhere to the promises set forth in the document.
A breach of contract is a violation of any of the agreed-upon terms and conditions of the binding contract.
Let’s talk about an example:
Jacob & Youngs, Inc. v. Kent, 230 N.Y. 239 (1921) a builder who used the wrong kind of piping in the construction of a building was entitled to payment, as he had substantially performed the work, but subject to a deduction for the difference in the value of the wrong piping.
In the United States, a court has powers to recognize a quasi-contract when an unjust happens to one of the parties and there is no true contract. This kind of implication is purely based on the merits of the case and the court could adjudge a fair value based on market conditions as a penalty or damage-control cost
‘Benefit-of-doubt-or-bargain’ is given to the affected party and this is done by monetary compensation. For instance, when two people agree that person-B should sell a commodity which is owned by person-A at an agreed price of 50$; but the actual price of that commodity is 75$. The court has the power to order Person-B to sell the commodity at the actual price or to facilitate person-A to keep the commodity to himself/herself so that person-A could sell the commodity to another party for a better price model.
• Hawkins v. McGee, 84 N.H. 114, 146 A. 641 (N.H. 1929) the plaintiff’s hand was injured by electrical wiring, and the doctor promised surgery to give him a 100% good hand. The operation failed, and the plaintiff won damages to the value of what he expected to get, compared to what he had. However, he received no extra compensation for pain and suffering.
• United States Naval Institute v. Charter Communications, Inc., 936 F.2d 692 (Second Cir. 1991) punitive damages and efficient breach, The Hunt for Red October
• Snepp v. the United States 444 U.S. 507 (1980) restitution damages
Specific performance is an equitable relief granted by the Court to enforce contractual obligations between the parties.
When there is a contractual obligation specified in the contract which is not been fulfilled, the court could order the party to fulfill the obligations within the timeframe failing which monetary compensation needs to be paid to the affected party.
Parties are permitted to agree to arbitrate disputes arising from their contracts. Under the Federal Arbitration Act (which has been interpreted to cover all contracts arising under federal or state law), arbitration clauses are generally enforceable unless the party resisting arbitration can show unconscionability, fraud, or something else that undermines the entire contract.
A legal notice is drafted when the affected party wants to formally inform the other party about his/her intent with demands so that if the demands are not met with, then further legal action could be raised to make a financial claim towards damages that would have caused.
Legal notice must be a formal communication from the affected party to the other with a clear definition of the intention to take legal action against them so that the other party is made attentive to the complaints against them.
A legal notice also provides an opportunity for the other party to explain their posture and make the situation settle amicably without pursuing the lawsuit.
How to draft a legal notice for breach of contract?
Legal notice must be advocated by the lawyer only. The advocate who represents the affected party would draft the legal notice and send it to the other party which has breached the contractual obligations.
The following gives a gist on how to draft a legal notice for breach of contract and what are the main components of the legal notice.
The Advocate who represents the affected party needs to publish his/her office address, telephone contacts; email-ids, and other necessary information to initiate contact and communication from the opposite party representatives. Also, the title must have a unique id/reference identification number for further tracking of the case.
The title also must indicate the date as in DDMMYYYY so that the response time could be calculated from the date of initiation. The next part of the title is the subject line which needs to be short and at the same time informative.
Next to the title, the 1st paragraph must have the advocate’s client name and their address with the client’s representative name. This is followed by the other party’s name, office address with a mention “Address To”
The specimen of the 1st para is like below:
“Attention: Mr. <Name of the official representative>, ABC Company, XYZ Street, District, State, Pincode”
Subject: A clear Subject of the intent of this legal notice.
We represent our client, <The affected party client name with their official representative name; its resident address (hereinafter also referred to as “Client”) who has provided us with relevant documents and thereby instructed us to address you as under
In this section, the core content is explained for which the notice is being issued. The beginning of each paragraph can be drafted as follows:
“As per the contractual obligations, our client mentions that…”
In this part, the demands of the client need to be defined with clarity and specified timelines. Also, the conclusion part needs to have the response timeline and the effect if it has been missed out.
The Conclusion part needs to have Advocate’s signature and stamp.
If you need further help to draft a legal notice for breach of contract, contact eSahayak.