339 U.S. 306 (1950).

A 1950 opinion of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court struck down a New York statute permitting service of notice by publication.

In the case, a trustee sought to settle accounts related to a common trust fund.  Pursuant to a New York statute, the trustee gave the beneficiaries notice of the proceeding by publication in a local newspaper.  Appellant, the beneficiary’s representative, objected to the adequacy of notice to the beneficiaries. The trial court overruled the appellant’s objections, but the United States Supreme Court reversed, holding that service by publication did not satisfy the requirements of procedural due process. The Court noted:

It would be idle to pretend that publication alone as prescribed here, is a reliable means of acquainting interested parties of the fact that their rights are before the courts.

Id. at 315.

The Court held that “An elementary and fundamental requirement of due process in any proceeding which is to be accorded finality is notice reasonably calculated, under all circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections.”  The notice must “convey the required information . . . and it must afford a reasonable time for those interested to make their appearance.”

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