A cease and desist letter, also referred to as a demand or stop harassment letter is a written notice that formally requests a business or individual to stop or cease from engaging in unwanted or unlawful behavior.
A cease and desist letter is a cautionary letter that is sent to an alleged wrongdoer describing their alleged misconduct and demanding that they cease from continuing with such misconducts. Such letters are normally written by attorneys and are often sent to stop the perpetrator from any alleged or actual infringement of the intellectual property rights, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
A Cease and Desist Letter Vs. a Cease and Desist Order
There are several occasions where one might confuse a cease and desist letter with a cease and desist order. Here is the difference between the two:
A cease and desist order is a legal document often issued to entities or individuals urging them to stop any suspicious or illegal activity and refrain from repeating it.
The main difference between a cease and desist order and a letter is the legal power. Unlike the order, a cease and desist letter is not legally binding but only a reflection of opinion, usually that of a lawyer.
Types of Cease and Desist Letters
Trademark Infringement: If a business or an individual is infringing on your trademark, you can use a cease and desist trademark infringement letter to better explain to them why their doing is confusing your customers and demand that they cease from such infringement
Copyright Infringement: A copyright infringement letter is used when someone deliberately steals, copies, or imitates your original work. A cease copyright infringement letter can be used to demand that they stop such actions or provide you with credit for infringing your copyrights.
Harassment: A cease and desist letter can help you to stop someone or a business from harassing you. However, depending on the person doing the harassing, the letter may cause the harasser to react unfavorably, so you need to use your judgment before you decide on sending one.
If you feel that sending your harasser a letter might serve to enrage them, then your best option would be to go directly to the courts and seek a restraining order.
Debt Collection: Suppose a debt collection service/agency or attorney keeps bugging you with calls now and then. In that case, you can use a cease and desist letter to get them to stop harassing you by citing the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that regulates the behavior of debt collectors.
Defamation: When defames your name or spreads rumors about you that are entirely untrue, you and/or your business can suffer irretrievable severe harm. Such rumors are a form of defamation referred to as slander if the untrue statement(s) is made verbally and libel if made in writing.
How to Create a Cease and Desist Letter Templates
Step 1: Choose The Best Template Design
We have quite a number of templates that you can choose from to help you get an overview of how the cease and desist letter should be written. Most forms declare that if the breaching party fails to desist from whatever they are doing, then a lawsuit will follow soon.
Step 2: Include Enough Evidence
The most crucial part of a cease and desist letter is to list down the claims that you have against the perpetrator. This usually differs depending on the cease and desist that you are sending. Examples include:
- Trademark: ensure that you properly list down where the trademark is being used without consent, as well as your trademark’s registration number to show proof of ownership.
- Harassment: include any disparaging text messages, video files, or audio records that the individual has shown inappropriate behavior
- Intellectual Property: Clearly outline where the property is being used with consent, such as a business location or on a website
Step 3: Warn About The Consequences
It is important that you notify the breaching party that the cease and desist letter is a pre-suit letter and that failure to comply with the demands of the letter will lead to a lawsuit seeking monetary damages. You could write something like this:
If you do not cease and desist from the abovementioned breach or violation, a lawsuit will be commenced against you.
Note that the above statement should be written in bold and underlined after listing the recipient’s violation.
Step 4: Send The Letter Via A Certified Mail
You should only send the letter to the official mailing address of the recipient. For business entities, this should be the Registered Agent’s Office, which is usually found in the respective State’s division of corporations.
Download Free cease and Desist Templates
Getting the right words and format of a cease and desist letter can sometimes be hard for most people. Download our free and premium cease and desist templates today to help you write like a pro. Our templates are not only easy to use, but you can also customize or use them as a guide to help you through the entire process.
Cease and Desist Letter Template
Cease and Desist Letter
Cease and Desist Template Copyright
Cease and Desist Template Harassment
Cease and Desist Template Slander
Cease and Desist Template Trademark
Cease and Desist FAQs
The main objective of a cease and desist letter from an attorney is to threaten legal action against the party in breach if the activity or behavior is not stopped, and therefore one would eventually pursue financial damages as well as a cease and desist order accordingly. Normally the fees for a cease and desist letter are:
• Solo Practitioner: attorneys usually charge between $750-$1,200 to draft and send a cease and desist letter
• Partnerships: partnerships are usually made up of between 2-3 attorneys and charge a fee of about $1500 for their time
• Large Firms: High-end firms usually charge a fee of about $3000-$5000 for the same product.
Since cease and desist letters are usually a precursor to legal proceedings, it is wise to have them drafted by your lawyer. In fact, in some cases, the letters may become key pieces of evidence in subsequent legal proceedings, not only in relation to the laid down allegations but also in relation to the application to seek reimbursement by the other party.
Yes! Once the other party receives your letter, there is generally no barrier to that party making the letter public. Consequently, if legal proceedings are commenced, relying upon the cease and desist letter in due time, it will be part of the public records.