Legal Memorandum: Sufficiency of Notice in CO

Issue: Under Colorado law, can a court be persuaded that notice short of the strict notice required under the terms of a contract for the sale of land nonetheless constitutes sufficient notice?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Employee Law, Litigation & Procedure, UCC & Secured Transactions
Keywords: Notice requirement; Sufficient notice; Contract
Jurisdiction: Colorado
Cited Cases: 74 P.3d 516; 618 P.2d 657; 632 P.2d 646
Cited Statutes: Colo. Rev. Stat. § 4-2-607(3)(a); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 84-110
Date: 11/01/2014

In Maltby v. J.F. Images, Inc., 632 P.2d 646 (Colo. Ct. App. 1981), the termination clause in an employment contract provided for “ten days’ notice, in writing . . . by certified mail, return receipt requested.”  Id. at 647.  The court’s ruling depended on a general rule relating to employment agreements, that when an employment agreement requires notice of termination for a specific time in advance, “a summary notice is effective to terminate the employment at the conclusion of the period of notice,” for purposes of determining damages, and the rule applies even if the notice was given orally rather than in writing as provided in the contract.  Id. at 648.  The court adopted the rule that oral notice was sufficient to determine damages under “the factual circumstances of this case.”  Id.  It did not state that oral notice was sufficient in all contexts.  Of course, in the context of an employment contract, the usual rule is employment at will, which means that, in absence of a written agreement, employment could be terminated at any time for any reason or no reason. 

In EZ Building Components Manufacturing, LLC v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 74 P.3d 516 (Colo. Ct. App. 2003), a workers’ compensation insurer cancelled the employer’s policy before its employee was injured.  The employer was not prompt about paying the premiums and began to send the monthly checks after receiving cancellation notices requiring immediate payment.  Id. at 517.  When the November check was […]

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