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constructive notice

n. a fiction that a person got notice even though actual notice was not personally delivered to him/her. The law may provide that a public notice put on the courthouse bulletin board is a substitute for actual notice. A prime example is allowing service by publication when a spouse has left the state to avoid service (legal delivery of a legal notice) in a divorce action. The legal advertisement of the summons in an approved newspaper is treated as constructive notice, just as if the summons and petition had been served personally.

See also: constructive 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications