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MStrisik
MStrisik, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  General practitioner; former litigator.
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Are e-mails considered legal written notice of cancellation

Resolved Question:

Are e-mails considered legal written notice of cancellation in contracts in the state of Florida. I was required to: XXXXX XXXXX deliver a signed and dated copy of this Cancellation Notice OR any other written notice, or send a telegram. Western Union no longer does telegrams so I sent an e-mail. The company representative who signed me up said that the telephones are rather busy at the company and suggested that if I wanted to communicate with the company I should e-mail my request. This to me makes e-mail a mode of operations for the said company. The company said I did not mail or send a telegram and never said anything about my "any other written notice" ie e-mail. I contacted them within the required time of three days and even spoke with a respentative who had received all my company material, e-mail and hard signed copy of my hand written notice of cancellation. My question is: ARE E-MAILS LEGALLY BINDING AS ANY OTHER WRITTEN NOTICE
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.

HiCustomer

 

Is this regarding a mortgage or an insurance policy?

M. Strisik, Esq.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It involves a company called Elite Escapes Resort I authorized $2,200.00 to be placed on my credit card on August 11, 2008. I did what I wrote before in my first e-mail to JUST answer, notified them by e-mail before the end of third day business day and before midnight of that third day. Elite Escapes called me on August 22, 2008 and ask why I had decided to cancel I spoke with a Mr. Korn and expressed my reasons and he after listening to me told me as a company respresentative that the I had done what was expected and that the funds would be placed back on my card within ten days. I thought it was a done deal. The funds never appeared so I dispuited it with my credit card company. The credit card company said that Elite Escape told them they did not receive my cancellation until August 18, 2008. That is when they received my certified mail package containing the company materials and my hand signed copy of my cancellation. I only sent a hand signed copy to back up and give them something isn writing with my wishes on it. The hand written was dated August 13, 2008. Never during my telephone conversation with Mr. Korn on August 22, 2008 did he said anything was wrong or incorrect with the manner in which I conducted the cancellation everything said by him gave me the firm understanding that I had done right. Therefore, I feel as if they are trying to use trickery or lying about what took place. I just need to know if e-mails in contracts whereas a person inacts a cancellation notice are legally understood to be a "wrtten notice". With the information age of today I think that the e-mail will and should stand but I need advise. This is just for my purpose and I do not intent to hold you responsible in anyway for your advice. Thank You
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for following up, I am actually quite confident that an email is as good as any writing because the notice is not obligated to be in pen-and-ink by law.

 

Under the Federal E-Sign Act, as well as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, both of which have been adopted in some form by the State of Florida, electronic transmissions stand on equal footing as their pen-and-ink counterparts. There are only a couple exceptions of where snail mail still must be used - both are in the context of cancellation notices - mortgages and insurance policies (hence my earlier question).

 

Congress passed the Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act02 ("E-Sign") in June 2000. This law provides that electronic signatures and electronic records generally satisfy legal requirements for signatures or writings. E-Sign authorizes the substitution of electronic notices for paper notices including most, but

not all, types of consumer notices. E-Sign also includes a number of important protections to ensure that consumers can receive, keep and use electronic notices provided to them.

Over twenty states have enacted some version of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act ("UETA"). This is a proposed Uniform Law on the same subject matter as E-Sign that is recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws ("NCCUSL"). Some states have enacted the uniform version,3 while other

states have added significant consumer protections not found in the uniform version.4

E-Sign and UETA are similar in many respects, but they are not at all similar in the way they treat consumers. In consumer transactions, E-Sign requires a specific and electronic consent process before an electronic notice may replace a legally required written notice. UETA merely requires that the parties agree to conduct transactions by electronic means, but does not specify how that agreement is to be proven. Instead, UETA states that agreement is determined from the context and circumstances.5 UETA's agreement requirement applies to all types of electronic notices (legal and contractual). UETA undercuts its own basic premise of agreement by permitting the agreement to conduct transactions electronically to be found from the context, including conduct. UETA also permits the agreement for future electronic notices to be given only on paper. UETA does not exempt any categories of consumer notices.

Since the notice you are talking about is not required by law to be in pen-and-ink, you are protected under E-Sign and UETA.

M. Strisik, Esq.

MStrisik, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 288
Experience: General practitioner; former litigator.
MStrisik and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So an e-mail would do? I could quote the E-Sign and UETA Acts and that would be enough? Does the e-mail being sent have a "electronic signature" due the computer sending it.
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.

Yes.

 

The fact that you typed the email provides enough for the signature requirement.

 

Hitting "send" is the transmission of the email - same as placing a letter into a mailbox in the world of contract law. The fact that the other party received the email and that it was not booted back by their system is proof that they accepted the message.

M. Strisik, Esq.

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