What Is a Cease and Desist Letter and How Do I Send One?

What is a cease and desist

If you’re wondering what a cease and desist letter is and how you can send one, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we will explain in layman’s terms:

  1. What exactly a cease and desist letter is,
  2. What situations they typically address,
  3. What is included in a cease and desist letter,
  4. Who can send a cease and desist letter, and
  5. How you can have an attorney send one on your behalf for a low, flat fee.  

What Is a Cease and Desist Letter?

In simple terms, a cease and desist letter is a letter that is sent to a person, business, or organization in order to stop them from engaging in harmful activity. A person or business sends a cease and desist letter when they are being harassed, or their rights are being violated.  

A cease and desist letter is also sometimes referred to as a cease and desist notice or a stop harassment letter. Sometimes people will also refer to a cease and desist letter as a “demand letter”. Cease and desist letters usually differ from demand letters in that a cease and desist requests that the recipient stops engaging in an action, while a demand letter requests that the recipient actively take an action, such as the payment of money owed. 

In What Situations Can I Send a Cease and Desist Letter?

A cease and desist letter can be useful in many situations. For example, a cease and desist letter can be sent to stop someone who has been spreading malicious lies about you. Or it could tell a person to that has been stalking you or provoking you through social media to stop their harassment. A cease and desist can be sent to a neighbor that is crossing boundary lines or being a nuisance. 

There are countless examples of when a cease and desist may be used – some other common situations are described below:

  • Harassment: A person has been sending you inappropriate messages, or stalking you at your work or residence. Perhaps they have also been harassing your friends, family members, or neighbors in person, through incessant calls, texts, or on social media. The person could be a vengeful ex-lover, a former friend, a troublemaking neighbor, or a disgruntled ex-co-worker. 
  • Defamation, Libel, and Slander: A person you know is spreading lies about you to other people or on social media. They are saying or writing things that paint your character in a negative light or are making false accusations about you. Or, if you’re a business owner, it could be a competitor that is spreading false lies and rumors about your business.
  • Property Disputes/Disputes with Neighbors: Your neighbor or their pet has been trespassing on your property. Or perhaps your neighbor has been encroaching on property lines and building a fence or structure on your land. You could have a neighbor that plays their music too loud, throws wild parties or has visitors who trample on your garden. 
  • Plagiarism or IP Infringement: You’re a writer, artist, or other creative worker and someone has stolen your idea. It could be a story you wrote, a logo you designed, or a graphic that you drew. The offending party could also be a company that is using your work without permission. You could be a musician that came up with a song that a company is now using in their advertising. If you have a trademark or patent, you may want to send a cease and desist to someone that is using your intellectual property without permission. 
  • Contract Disputes: You had a contract with someone agreeing that they would not open a competing business in the same area as you but they just opened up shop in your neighborhood. Or perhaps you entered into a confidentiality agreement with someone and you find out they have been disclosing your secrets to others. 

What Is in a Cease and Desist Letter?

A cease and desist letter will typically contain the following:

  1. A description of the harmful activities the recipient is engaging in that the sender wants to stop.
  2. A request to stop that activity immediately or by a certain deadline.
  3. A threat to take legal action if the recipient fails to stop their actions.

The letter will be directed to the offending person or organization and be signed by the author. If the letter is from a lawyer, it will be written on the law firm’s letterhead and be signed by the lawyer. 

Who Can Send a Cease and Desist Letter? Do I Need a Lawyer to Send a Cease and Desist Letter?

Anyone can theoretically send a cease and desist letter. If someone is harassing you, you can send them a letter that you have written asking them to stop. However, a letter you send on your own is of questionable value, especially if the recipient is someone not respecting your boundaries and rights. 

That is why many people choose to have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter on their behalf. A cease and desist letter that is drafted and sent by a lawyer carries far more weight than a letter that you send yourself. The recipient is now on notice that you have a lawyer potentially representing your interests. The recipient will take your letter more seriously, knowing that you have a lawyer available to take further action to protect your interests. 

In addition, a lawyer will have greater experience writing a cease and desist letter. They will be able to craft a letter that is effective and has gravity. 

If you were someone that was continuously harassing another person, how deterred would you be if that person wrote you a letter requesting that you stop? You would probably feel differently however if the letter came from an attorney acting on their client’s behalf. It may cost a bit more, but if you really want to get your point across in a cease and desist letter, it helps to have the assistance of an attorney. 

How Do I Send a Cease and Desist Letter?

Whether you are sending a cease and desist letter yourself or an attorney is doing it on your behalf, the letter should ideally be sent so that it can be tracked. You want to ensure the letter was received by the recipient and that you have proof of receipt in the form of delivery confirmation. For mailed letters, certified mail or another type of tracked delivery option is best. Cease and desist letters can also be sent electronically via email or fax. 

How Do I Find a Lawyer to Write a Cease and Desist Letter?

If you’re looking to have an attorney draft a cease and desist letter for you at a reasonable flat rate, Demand Letters can help. It can feel nearly impossible to find an attorney willing to write a simple cease and desist letter on your behalf for a low fee. The attorney might charge you a retainer (essentially a deposit) and bill at an hourly rate. Your final bill will be unknown and you’ll wonder whether you’re getting a fair rate or if the lawyer is doing an efficient job with your project. For these reasons, many people are turned off from the idea of hiring a lawyer to write a cease and desist letter in the first place.

Demand Letters will help you connect to a legal professional that will write and send a cease and desist letter for a low flat fee. There will be no retainers or hidden charges. You will also be under no obligation to buy any further services from the lawyer.  

If you’re ready to get started, just click on the link below. 

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