What is the doctrine of constructive notice?


Quick Answer

The legal doctrine of constructive notice attributes notice of something to a person even though an actual notice does not exist, according to USLegal.com. One example of constructive notice involves using a newspaper to announce a legal decision when one party in the case is unable to be served with a judgment. Constructive notice can also be used when a person flees a state to avoid notice of proceedings.

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Full Answer

In Great Britain, documents and evidence compiled in legal cases are kept by a central registrar. Law Teacher explains anyone can view documents stored with the Registrar of Companies for a small fee. These documents are therefore considered public knowledge and provide constructive notice to any parties involved in a legal action. British law presumes a person entering a contract with a company has researched the company's background by perusing these compiled documents, and therefore the doctrine of constructive notice applies.

The crux of constructive notice involves public notice, according to About.com. Newspapers, public records of property, legal documents available to interested parties and registered trademarks are all entities that may satisfy this doctrine. When public records are available to anyone, people are assumed to have knowledge of the facts contained in those records and are precluded from denying knowledge of a legal fact due to ignorance or lack of normal inquiry.

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