Snapshot summary data for public notice laws in each state of the U.S.

February 15, 2011

The following results report a snapshot of Lexis library materials from each of the U.S. 50 states:

The largest group of state cases clustered around the issue of public notice comes from those where the state uses the term “legal notice”, with “official notice”, coming in at a distant second place and “record notice” an even more distant third.

Using the same terms for updates on legislative activity, “legal notice” was the term of choice for changes in the law. At least 19 states, with 34 statutes, provided for some clarification about what constituted a legal notice. “Record newspaper” was mentioned in Florida (Fla. Stat. ß 50.0711 (2010)) only in the way the court would pay for notices. Nebraska does now allow notices to be posted on wall bulletin boards (33-141-142, (2010)), but New Mexico was steadfast that notices may be posted on the web, but that is not a substitute for traditional publication (14-11-10.2 (2010). Wisconsin’s Attorney General published an opinion to the same effect.

These statutes and opinions did not dissuade legislatures from offering changes, however, to “legal notice” laws. There were at least 18 bills in 15 states for changing some aspect of “legal notice” qualifications and many of them included website use in place of existing practices. There were fewer, perhaps only two, offering similar changes for the states’ statutes around “official notice.”

These results come from a search of each Lexis state file using the following search strings:

ATLEAST5(legal notice)

or ATLEAST5(record newspaper)

or ATLEAST5(record notice)

or ATLEAST5(newspaper record)

or ATLEAST5(official notice)

Within each state library in Lexis, the following folders were searched:

State statutes, Constitution, Court Rules, combined; state cases combined and

all bill tracking and full-text bills.

–Shannon Martin and Kamilla Benko


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