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Ante litem is a Latin term meaning "before litigation". Some governmental entities, such as, counties, police departments, school systems, and municipalities, may require that you send an ante litem notice of an intent to sue them in order to proceed with a lawsuit. For example, a state may require one year to give the ante litem notice, even though you might have more time to file suit. Laws governing ante litem notices vary by state, so local laws should be consulted.