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The information given of some act done, or the interpellation by which some act is required to be done. It also signifies knowledge; as A had notice that B was a slave.
Notices should always be in writing; they should state, in precise terms, their object, and be signed by the proper person, or his authorized agent, be dated, and addressed to the person to be affected by them.
Notices are actual, as when they are directly given to the party to be affected by them; or constructive, as when the party by any circumstance whatever, is put upon inquiry, which amounts in judgment of law to notice, provided the inquiry becomes a duty.
With respect to the necessity for giving notice the rules of law are most evidently founded on good sense and so as to accord with the intention of the parties. The giving notice in certain cases obviously is in the nature of a condition precedent to the right to call on the other party for the performance of his engagement, wbether his contract were express or implied. Thus, in the familiar instance of bills of exchange and promissory notes, the implied contract of an indorser is, that be will pay the bill or note, provided it be not paid, on presentment at maturity, by the acceptor or maker, (being the party primarily liable, and provided that he (the indorser) has due notice of the dishonor, and without which be is discharged from all liability; consequently, it is essential for the holder to be prepared to prove affirmatively that such notice was given or some facts dispensing with such notice.
Whenever the defendant's liability to perform an act depends on another occurrence, which is best known to the plaintiff, and of which the defendant is not legally bound to take notice, the plaintiff must prove that due notice, was in fact given. So in cases of insurances on ships, a notice of abandonment. is frequently necessary to enable the assured plaintiff to proceed as for a total lose when something remains to be saved in relation to which, upon notice, the insurers might themselves take their own measures.
To avoid doubt or ambiguity in the terms of the notice, it may be advisable to give it in writing, and to preserve evidence of its delivery, as in the case of notices of the dishonor of a bill.
The form of the notice may be as subscribed, but it must necessarily vary in its terms according to the circumstances of each case. So, in order to entitle a party to insist upon a strict and exact performance of a contract on the fixed day for completing it, and a fortiori to retain a deposit as forfeited, a reasonable notice must be given of the intention to insist on a precise performance, or be will be considered as having waived such strict right. So if a lessee or a purchaser be sued for the recovery of the estate, and he have a remedy over against a third person upon a covenant for quiet enjoyment, it is expedient (although not absolutely necessary) referring to such covenant.