HB 301: Legal Notice Amendments
This bill was passed 42-26 in the House but was held in Senate Business and Labor Committee.
Traditionally, legal notices have been published in public newspapers so that community members would easily be able to be notified of important legal or government events that may affect them. Today, this may not be as necessary because the public has other outlets through which information is obtained, such as social media. And it shouldn’t be necessary in the case of knowing where the individual is located who needs to be noticed.
If the legal notice only pertains to a certain group of people, or a single person, the entity giving the notice should be able to directly contact the individuals instead of having to pay for a spot in the newspaper that may or may not be read by affected parties. Under Representative Kim Coleman‘s sponsored legislation, House Bill 301, it would be possible to do so. So long as involved parties can be directly notified, and the notifying entity can provide and maintain records of proof of this direct notification, a costly newspaper advertisement will not be necessary.
If the notifying entity decides to post the public notice in a newspaper, under HB 301 they will be guaranteed a fair price for space in the businesses paper or website. Some newspapers are currently charging very high prices for public notice spaces because they know they can get away with it due to the fact that the notices are legally required. This is an unfair practice that often wastes taxpayer money, as government agencies are often the ones publishing such notices.
HB 301 will resolve current price discrimination practices as well as allow for different methods of more direct notification.