Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Tr. Co.

339 U.S. 306, 70 S. Ct. 652 (1950)



An elementary and fundamental requirement of due process is notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendancy of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections.


Appellee bank and a trust company established a common trust fund that complied with N.Y. Banking Law Section 100-c. Appellee petitioned for a settlement of its first account as a common trustee. Upon the filing of the petition, appellant was appointed the special guardian. The only notice given to the beneficiaries was by a publication in a local newspaper that was in strict compliance with Section 100-c. Appellant objected, contending that the notice and statutory provisions for notice to beneficiaries were inadequate to afford due process. The New York Court of Appeals overruled the objection.


Was the notice required under Section 100-c adequate notice? 




The Court reversed, holding that the notice requirement under Section 100-c was inadequate because it did not provide for a means to contact those who could easily be informed by other means. The notice had to reasonably convey the required information and afford a reasonable time for those interested to make their appearance.

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