Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph A. Califano Jr. has been warned that he will face court penalties if he fails to give attorney Joseph L. Rauh Jr. and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund advance notice of higher education desegregation plans.

The warning, arising from a desegregation settlement involving the University of North Carolina, was contained in by order issued here last Friday by U.S. District Court Judge John H. Pratt. It will apply only to desegregation agreements arising from a successful suit some time ago in which the fund and Rauh, representing a group of students, won a court order to HEW to start enforcing desegregation in various educational institutions including state universities in southern states.

Calikano worked out agreement with five southern states at various times, but when the secretary announced a desegregation plan covering North Carolina on May 12, Rauh protested that he had not been given "timely access" to comment on the agreement before its acceptance by HEW. Rauh contended an April 1, 1977, ruling by Pratt required that Rauh and the fund, as attorney for the students, get to look at settlements in advance.

Last Friday Pratt said he agreed with Rauh that HEW hadn't complied with the "timely access" requirement in the North Carolina settlements, amendments or supplements to plans at least 72 hours in advance.