Cease and Desist Letter

How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter

A cease and desist letter is usually written by someone to start a paper trail asserting their rights and demands. It can be written to an individual or a business and is used as a formal method of communication to tell them to stop certain conduct. A cease and desist letter will advise a person or business that they must cease the conduct and that there may be legal consequences if they do not.

What types of conduct might warrant a cease and desist letter?

  • Harassment by:
    • debt collectors,
    • an individual, or
    • a business.
  • Infringement of your copyright or trademark.
  • Defamation.
  • A damaging activity or conduct you want stopped.

Can anyone write a cease and desist letter?

The short answer is yes. That being said, because a cease and desist letter can be a precursor to legal proceedings and a law firm letterhead indicates that you mean business, it is advisable to engage a lawyer to prepare the letter.

What to do if you are issued with a cease and desist letter

Just because you are issued with a cease and desist letter it doesn’t mean you have engaged in the conduct that is alleged in the letter. However, you shouldn’t ignore it even if you think you haven’t engaged in the conduct alleged. Failure to address the matter could still result in legal proceedings being commenced against you.

Seek legal advice as a matter of urgency to take action to address the perception or misunderstanding that has led to the other party issuing the letter. Addressing the matter quickly could save you from more serious penalties.

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