Rule 5.040. Notice

(a)     Formal Notice.

(1)     When formal notice is given, a copy of the pleading or motion shall be served on interested persons, together with a notice requiring the person served to serve written defenses on the person giving notice within 20 days after service of the notice, exclusive of the day of service, and to file the original of the written defenses with the clerk of the court either before service or immediately thereafter, and notifying the person served that failure to serve written defenses as required may result in a judgment or order for the relief demanded in the pleading or motion, without further notice.

(2)     After service of formal notice, informal notice of any hearing on the pleading or motion shall be served on interested persons, provided that if no written defense is served within 20 days after service of formal notice on an interested person, the pleading or motion may be considered ex parte as to that person, unless the court orders otherwise.

(3)     Formal notice shall be served:

(A)     by sending a copy by any commercial delivery service requiring a signed receipt or by any form of mail requiring a signed receipt as follows:

(i)      to the attorney representing an interested person; or

(ii)     to an interested person who has filed a request for notice at the address given in the request for notice; or

(iii) to an incapacitated person or a person with a developmental disability to the person’s usual place of abode and to the person’s legal guardian, if any, at the guardian’s usual place of abode or regular place of business; or, if there is no legal guardian, to the incapacitated person or person with a developmental disability at the person’s usual place of abode and on the person, if any, having care or custody of the incapacitated person or person with a developmental disability at the usual place of abode or regular place of business of such custodian; or

(iv)    to a minor whose disabilities of nonage are not removed, by serving the persons designated to accept service of process on a minor under chapter 48, Florida Statutes; or

(v)     on any other individual to the individual’s usual place of abode or to the place where the individual regularly conducts business; or

(vi)    on a corporation or other business entity to its registered office in Florida or its principal business office in Florida or, if neither is known after reasonable inquiry, to its last known address; or

(B)     as provided in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process; or

(C)     as otherwise provided by Florida law for service of process.

(4)     Service of formal notice pursuant to subdivision (a)(3)(A) shall be complete on receipt of the notice. Proof of service shall be by verified statement of the person giving the notice; and there shall be attached to the verified statement the signed receipt or other evidence satisfactory to the court that delivery was made to the addressee or the addressee’s agent.

(5)     If service of process is made pursuant to Florida law, proof of service shall be made as provided therein.

(b)     Informal Notice. When informal notice of a petition or other proceeding is required or permitted, it shall be served as provided in rule 5.041.

(c)     “Notice” Defined. In these rules, the Florida Probate Code, and the Florida Guardianship Law “notice” shall mean informal notice unless formal notice is specified.

(d)     Formal Notice Optional. Formal notice may be given in lieu of informal notice at the option of the person giving notice unless the court orders otherwise. When formal notice is given in lieu of informal notice, formal notice shall be given to all interested persons entitled to notice. When formal notice is given in lieu of informal notice, that notice does not modify any time period otherwise specified by statute or these rules.

(e)     In the Manner Provided for Service of Formal Notice.  If a document is served in the manner provided for service of formal notice, service is completed on receipt of the document, and proof of service shall be in the manner set forth in subdivision (a)(4).

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