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Cease and Desist Letter

A Cease and Desist Letter offers you a quick, cost effective, and efficient way to formally ask an individual or a business to stop a certain activity.


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Document Overview

A Cease and Desist Letter allows you to formally request that an individual or business refrain from engaging in certain conduct. This can extend from harassment to debt collection. It is a cost-effective way, and usually the first step, in asking the recipient to stop a certain activity or risk legal action. A Cease and Desist Letter is a simple way to form a paper trail asserting your rights or demands and will be referred to if you commence legal proceedings.

Use this Cease and Desist Letter if:

  • You are being harassed by debt collectors;
  • Your trademark is being infringed;
  • You are experiencing copyright infringement;
  • You are a victim of harassment;
  • You have been defamed or slandered; or
  • You just want to generally demand an activity or conduct to stop.

What does the Cease and Desist Letter cover?

  • Demanding for a certain action to stop; and
  • A warning that if the activity continues, there may be resulting legal consequences.

Other names for Cease and Desist Letter include:

  • Notice to Stop Letter; and
  • Demand letter.

What’s the difference between a cease and desist letter and a demand letter?

A Letter of Demand (Debt) can be used to formally demand recovery of a debt owed to you following the supply of goods or services, whereas a cease and decease letter is a letter which allows you to formally tell a business or an individual to stop a certain conduct.

What are cease and desist letters commonly used for?

Although a cease and desist letter can be used for many different reasons, some of the more common cases are:


If you’re having issues with another party harassing, following or intimidating you, it may be difficult resolve if they refuse to listen to you. Sending a Cease and Desist letter in these circumstances provides a clear communication of how they are infringing upon your rights, and that further legal action could happen should they continue.

Copyright or trademark infringement

A cease and desist letter helps inform parties of a breach of your intellectual property, which may or may not be intentional. This can allow for a more seamless resolution without the need for litigation.


A Cease and Desist letter can be sent before pursuing legal action against a party who you believe has slandered or defamed you. 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.

Debt collection

The rules and guidelines set out in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 relate to what debt collectors must abide by when attempting to recover a payment owed from a debtor. Sending a cease and desist allows you to assert your rights under the Act and warn the offender of further legal action for failing to comply.

How effective are cease and desist letters?

A well worded letter would convince the receiving party to settle to resolve the issue or stop what they are doing without having to initiate legal proceedings. A cease and desist letter can be a convenient way to solve a variety of everyday problems for individuals and small businesses in a manner which is time and cost effective.

What is a certified cease and desist letter?

A certified cease and desist letter is a letter drafted and signed by a lawyer. A cease and desist letter sent from a lawyer carries more weight and has better chances of success.

Should a cease and desist letter be sent from a lawyer?

Having a lawyer draft your cease and desist letter is beneficial for some of the following reasons:

1. A lawyer can determine the seriousness of the grounds for your action

Without consulting a lawyer, your letter may risk lacking proper grounds for future legal action. You must consult a lawyer to be sure which area of law is being breached to begin with. Placing false accusations in a letter of demand can have serious consequences for you.

2. Drafting the letter with a lawyer’s expertise

A letter can be more persuasive when it contains legally accurate statements of rights and the allegations of infringement.

3. Final advice

A letter drafted by a lawyer will give more weight and seriousness not only to the person to which the letter is sent but also in the court of law. If the letter is unsuccessful and legal proceedings are initiated, the court may choose to take the letter into consideration when making an order against the party.

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