Notice by Publication Due Process
In Mullane v. Central Hanover Tr. Co. (1950), 339 U.S. 306, the high court upheld notice by publication for trust beneficiaries "whose interests or whereabouts could not with due diligence be ascertained" or "whose interests are either conjectural or future ... ." (Id. at p. 317 70 S. Ct. at p. 659.)
For beneficiaries with a known current interest and known address, however, the court held that notice by publication does not satisfy due process. (Id. at p. 319 70 S. Ct. at pp. 659-660.)
"Since the interest of a parent in the companionship, care, custody, and management of his children is a compelling one, ranked among the most basic of civil rights, the state, before depriving a parent of this interest, must afford him adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard." (In re B. G. (1974) 11 Cal. 3d 679, 688-689 114 Cal. Rptr. 444, 523 P.2d 244.)
"An elementary and fundamental requirement of due process in any proceeding which is to be accorded finality is notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections.
The notice must be of such nature as reasonably to convey the required information, and it must afford a reasonable time for those interested to make their appearance." (Mullane v. Central Hanover Tr. Co. (1950) 339 U.S. 306, 314 70 S. Ct. 652, 657, 94 L. Ed. 865.)
"But when notice is a person's due, process which is a mere gesture is not due process. the means employed must be such as one desirous of actually informing the absentee might reasonably adopt to accomplish it. the reasonableness and hence the constitutional validity of any chosen method may be defended on the ground that it is in itself reasonably certain to inform those affected, or, where conditions do not reasonably permit such notice, that the form chosen is not substantially less likely to bring home notice than other of the feasible and customary substitutes." (Mullane v. Central Hanover Tr. Co., supra, 339 U.S. at p. 315 70 S. Ct. at pp. 657-658.)
The United States Supreme Court "has not hesitated to approve of resort to publication as a customary substitute ... where it is not reasonably possible or practicable to give more adequate warning.
Thus it has been recognized that, in the case of persons missing or unknown, employment of an indirect and even a probably futile means of notification is all that the situation permits and creates no constitutional bar to a final decree foreclosing their rights." (Mullane v. Central Hanover Tr. Co., supra, 339 U.S. at p. 317 70 S. Ct. at p. 658.) (See Tulsa Professional Collection Services v. Pope (1988) 485 U.S. 478, 484 108 S. Ct. 1340, 1344-1345, 99 L. Ed. 2d 565.)