When we think about a Cease and Desist letter it’s often accompanied with a vague but somewhat intimidating feeling involving a threatening and lengthy legal document. We’ve heard about them being dropped like little legal greetings in all sorts of high-stake celebrity dramas: from harassment; name appropriation to defamation – T-Swift anyone?

However, in reality a Cease and Desist letter doesn’t have to be complicated or threatening. It can be a convenient way to solve a variety of everyday problems for individuals and small businesses. If you require a Cease and Desist letter or would like a letter reviewed by a lawyer you should contact a LawPath consultant today.

What is a Cease and Desist letter?

A Cease and Desist letter is a written document to a party that serves as a formal notice for them to stop certain behaviour or activity that is unwanted by the sender or infringes upon their legal rights. It’s often the first step taken to stop the unwanted activity and usually contains a warning that legal action will be pursued if the party does not ‘cease and desist’ their behaviour.

More information on what is a cease and desist letter can be found here.

5 circumstances to use a Cease and Desist letter

    1. You are being harassed
      If you’ve been harassed, intimidated or stalked, it may be difficult to talk about concerns to the other party if they refuse to listen to you. In this case, sending them a Cease and Desist letter is a simple way to ensure they understand that their behaviour is infringing upon your rights and that you intend to pursue legal action if they continue.
    2. Your copyright or trademark has been infringed
      If someone else has used your copyright or trademark without your permission, sending a Cease and Desist letter can inform the party responsible that they are in breach of your intellectual property (perhaps they didn’t know!). This provides them with the opportunity to resolve the conflict prior to litigation which is both costly and time-consuming.
    3. You have been defamed
      If you believe you’ve been slandered or defamed by another party it’s often useful to send the other party a Cease and Desist letter before pursuing legal action. By pointing out the untruths in representations they have made about you, the individual or group responsible can address the issue and retract any harmful representations before attracting more media and public attention to the issue. Flashback to the Real Housewives franchise which has seen some pretty infamous Cease and Desist Letters exchanged between cast members.
    4. You are being harassed by debt collectors
      The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 sets out rules and guidelines that debt collectors must abide by when retrieving payment from a debtor. If you have been harassed, forcefully coerced or experienced infringement of your rights under the Act, you may choose to send a Cease and Desist letter to assert your rights under the Act and warn the perpetrator that legal action will be pursued if they continue their illegal behaviour.
    5. You just generally want the conduct to stop
      Perhaps your specific circumstance doesn’t fit any of the above categories but you’re experiencing unwanted behaviour from an individual or group that you want to stop. A Cease and Desist letter can help you serve a formal notice to the other party that their behaviour will not be tolerated and that legal action may result if they continue.

Create your own using our simple online form. You will have a customisable and ready to use Cease and Desist letter in under 5 minutes.

Need to send someone a Cease and Desist letter? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Jennifer Wang

Jennifer is a Paralegal, working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in media and IP law, her research focuses on the evolving role of the law to navigate new and emerging information platforms.