Summary of Data for Public Notice/Legal Notice
State-level Legislative Activity & Court Opinions
2006 & 2007
Data collection: June 26, 2007
Search libraries/files: Lexis: All State Statutes (past five years);
Lexis: All State Cases (past five years)
Search string: ((legal or public) w/2 notice) and (newspaper or digital or web or
world wide web) and (electronic or online);
((legal or public) w/2 advert!) and (newspaper or digital or web or
world wide web) and (electronic or online)
Results: Courts responded to clarification/points of law requests at least
20 times among 16 states.
Eight of the cases reached the supreme state court level;
Seven of the cases were decided at the appeals court level;
Five of the cases were decided at the trial court level.
All cases confirmed legal notice in the newspaper as adequate, meaningful, sufficient, etc. One case found that newspaper ads were not superseded by website posting. (First Student Transp. Co. V. S. Kingstown School, Rhode Island, Tr.Ct. 2005).
At least 34 states’ legislatures specifically included mention of traditionally published legal notice/public notice advertisement in at least 167 enacted bills that subsequently were signed into law during the period.
Of those 167 changes in the law at the state level, there were at least eleven changes away from newspaper posting of advertisements. For example:
- Arizona allowed web posting of property sales (CH. 193 SB 1195);
- Georgia required public notices for infrastructure development be published in regular pages rather than the classified pages for legal notice (Act 372 SB 200);
- Hawaii ceased the requirement that county tax revisions be published in the newspaper (Act 38 HB 2476), and that abandon vehicle auctions for property valued at less than $1,000 need not be advertise in newspapers (Act 62 HB 2508);
- Illinois allowed web posting of legal notice for voter registration and election information where the municipal population was under 500,000 (Laws 645 HB 1968);
- Kansas ceased the requirement that game population statistics and maps be published in newspaper ads (HB 2437);
- Kentucky now allows mail to carry a legal notice if it is more cost efficient than newspaper publication (CH. 47 SB 76);
- Nebraska decided that bond reports no longer needed to be given public notice (Laws 206 City Treasurer);
- New Jersey allows certain school contracts for services to avoid legal notice publication (Ch. 42 AN 17);
- Utah allows municipalities with budgets under $1m to avoid legal notice publication of meetings, but newspaper ads are still require for most funding issues (Ch. 249 HB 222; Ch. 306 HB 264);
- And Washington state allows web posting for project review committee meetings (HB 1506).