Q&A: Proof of publication for public notices


From Post-Tribune (Crown Point):

Q: Are newspapers obligated to provide physical newspaper clippings of public notices as a part of our proof of publication or does a copy (proof) of the ad suffice?

A: The answer is: It depends. For most public notice advertisements in Indiana, you can provide what the State Board of Accounts calls an “electronic copy” of the notice.

As long as the copy is produced at 100 percent of the size it appeared in the newspaper and in the same column width, point size, etc., that is acceptable as far as billing purposes for government entities.

If the notice was filed to meet a legal requirement for a court action, then an actual newspaper clipping may be needed by the client because that may be what the court will require as proof of publication. My recommendation is to use the electronic copy as the general response, but be prepared to produce an actual clipping if the client demands more than the electronic copy accompanied by an affidavit stating that theproof is how it appeared in the newspaper.

Customer service is the key. You’ll probably soon have a list of customers that are going to demand an actual clipping and can plan accordingly to accommodate them quickly.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.