Legal Notice Guide

Message from the Oklahoma Press Association’s
Executive Vice President

Dictators and tyrants don’t do public notice. They don’t have budget hearings, or delinquent tax lists, or take bids before expenditure of public funds. There are no warning or accountability notices in a world governed by despots.

However, in our system the government warns the governed when it is about to take action that affects their life, liberty or pursuit of happiness. It has been that way since the Founding Fathers penned the Declaration of Independence, and will continue as long as the people expect warnings and accountability from their government.

Legal notices are important and should be handled with care. Newspapers, public bodies and persons placing legal notices must remember this simple truth.

OPA receives many calls about legals. This guide should help answer questions about state laws, definition of a legal newspaper, what public bodies are required to pay, and more. OPA has published this information in years past and began making it available on the OPA Web site in 2006. We hope you find it easy to use and understand.

We must not underestimate the importance of public notices and the care with which they should be handled. The public depends on us .

Mark Thomas
OPA Executive Vice President

How to Use This Guide

Many laws, regulations, and ordinances passed by federal, state, and local governments require a publication in a legal newspaper. This Legal Notice Digest is intended solely as a guide to the requirements imposed by one of these governments in one area: state statutory law through the 2011 Legislative Session.

This guide includes most publication requirements imposed by state statute as well as information about how to count legal notices and create proofs of publication. It does not, however, cover federal or local laws, regulations, ordinances, or resolutions nor state resolutions or regulations. You can download and print the PDF files for easy reference and return to this website for future updates.

A newspaper cannot and should not give legal advice. OPA’s Legal Notice Digest is not legal authority, but merely information to help newspapers better serve their customers. The customer is responsible for ordering a publication that meets state statutory or other legal requirements. This resource can provide guidelines to facilitate knowledgeable discussion with customers who order publications required by state statutory law.