Legal Question in Technology Law in Florida

Can they file larceny charges for non delivery?

I had an s corporation business that was building a web site for a local company. The business consisted of me and one other person. The company was dissolved but I was still doing work for the local company. We had given them a contract for the origanal work but it was never signed. My business was dissolved because my partner was not doing the work he was supossed to be doing and I had to carry the load for the web site, which was quite large. I have not given the company the open scource files for the work I did after the company was dissolved. That work was done freelance without a contract. I recently recieved an email from my ex partner that the owners of the local company are filing Grand Larceny charges against me unless I give them the files. I have always worked from home, the work was not contracted and there was no formal agreement. Can they file charges?

Asked on 7/18/02, 1:07 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Geoffrey G. Gussis, Esq. Riker, Danzig LLP

Re: Can they file larceny charges for non delivery?

Sounds like someone is trying to intimidate you. The facts indicate a civil suit could be likely but I highly doubt that there are criminal implications. Copyright law requires a signed writing to transfer rights - unless you were an employee of a corporation, and in that the case the rights vest automatically with the employer as a work for hire. So, if you were an independent contractor and didn't have a signed writing with your client, you own the rights to the work you created. You might get sued for breach of contract but copyright law says that you own the work.

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Answered on 7/19/02, 12:18 am
Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

Re: Can they file larceny charges for non delivery?

The charges are preposterous; I can't imagine that a DA would actually file such an indictment. No private party can do so -- whoever is saying this has no idea about criminal process. Indeed, if they are threatening such action, get it in writing and you would have a nice claim against them for civil extortion under Florida law.

Suggest that you contact competent counsel in Florida to help you with this situation; I can recommend someone if you need that.

Best wishes,


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Answered on 7/18/02, 8:16 am

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