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How to Create a Cease and Desist Letter

CEASE AND DESIST LETTER - 04/03/15

Use a cease and desist letter any time you need to demand a stop to activities that are violating your rights. If you are an attorney, LegalNature’s cease and desist letter form builder will automatically draft the letter from your point of view and direct that any related communications be direct to your office. The following instructions will help you in completing your letter and in understanding how to use it to your greatest advantage.

1. Letter Type

Begin by selecting the type of cease and desist letter that you want to send. This depends on the type of activities that you are seeking to stop. If none of the options fit your situation, then select "general cease and desist," which will give you a more flexible version of the letter that will be tailored to your situation. For instance, you would select this option if you are trying to stop someone from spreading defamatory remarks, slander, or libel.

The other letter types include cease and desist demands to stop:

  • debt collector communications and contact;
  • copyright infringement;
  • trademark infringement;
  • general harassment (such as stalking, physical harassment, or verbal harassment); and
  • breach of contract.

2. Sender Type

Next, select who is sending the letter. This cease and desist letter may be sent from either the aggrieved party or the aggrieved party's attorney. The perspective of the letter will automatically adjust accordingly. In the event that the sender is an attorney, the letter will direct the recipient to forward the letter to his or her attorney, if also represented, and to direct all communications regarding the matter to the sender's law firm.

3. Party Information

In this section, you can quickly enter the sender's and recipient's address and relevant contact details. The recipient may be either an individual or a business entity.

4. Details of the Violation

Depending upon the type of letter you selected, you will be asked for specific details regarding the activity or activities you are trying to stop.

5. Debt Collection

You will need to provide the following information when sending a cease and desist letter to a debt collector:

  • The date on which the debt collector last contacted the aggrieved party
  • The entity claiming that it is owed the debt
  • The account number or reference number for the debt for which repayment is sought

6. Copyright Infringement

To protect against copyright infringement, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The name of the copyrighted work that is being infringed upon
  • The date on which this copyrighted work was first created (when the copyright went into effect)
  • The name of the infringing work

7. Trademark Infringement

If you want to use a cease a desist letter to protect yourself from trademark infringement, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The trademark that is being infringed upon
  • The date on which this trademark was first created (when the trademark went into effect)
  • The infringing trademark

Describing the Trademark


When describing the trademarks, it is perfectly acceptable to repeat the same description for both the infringing and non-infringing marks if they are very similar. For instance, you might describe both marks as "a red star surrounding the letters DLJ in white."

8. Harassment

If you're using the letter to protect against harassment, simply describe the activities that constitute the harassment you are trying to stop. Be detailed in your description and include any relevant dates.

9. Breach of Contract

You will need to provide the following information if using the cease and desist letter to protect against breach of contract:

  • The activities that constituted the breach of contract
  • An explanation why these activities amount to a breach of contract
  • The date on which the contract was originally signed

When explaining why the activities amounted to a breach of contract, try to refer to specific sections of the contract that were violated. For instance, you might write "Section 3(a) states that 'the Employee agrees to not compete with Employer's business within a radius of 5 miles from Employer's store for a period of 6 months following termination of employment.' Therefore, you breached the contract by working in the same industry and geographic area as the Employer within this timeframe."

10. General Cease and Desist

If you're using a general cease and desist, simply describe the activities that you are trying to stop. Be detailed in your description and include any relevant dates.

11. Cease and Desist Agreement

The form builder will ask you whether you want to include a cease and desist agreement. This is a short, one paragraph agreement whereby the recipient agrees to comply with your cease and desist demand.

In exchange for the recipient ceasing the offending activities, the sender agrees to not pursue any legal action. In the event that the recipient fails to uphold the agreement, the sender will be able to pursue any and all legal actions that were available before the agreement was signed. This means that the sender will not be giving up any legal rights or remedies by entering into the cease and desist agreement.

In the agreement, you will indicate how many days the recipient has to sign and return the agreement. If the sender plans on pursuing legal action regardless of whether the recipient complies with the letter, then you should not include this agreement.

Note that if you selected a debt collection letter type, then you will not have the option to include this agreement because it is not necessary. Once the debt collector receives the cease and desist letter, federal law prevents any further contact except to tell you that it is in fact ceasing communication efforts or that it is filing a collections suit against the aggrieved party.

12. Final Steps

Before sending the letter, be sure to read it thoroughly so that you understand its contents. You may attach any relevant documents that you feel are necessary or that show evidence of the offending activities you are trying to stop. For instance, if you selected a trademark infringement letter type, you could include reports of the infringing trademark causing consumer confusion.

It is best to send the letter via certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you have evidence that you did in fact send the letter. Be sure to keep a copy of the initial letter that you send for your records. If the recipient signs the cease and desist agreement, then be sure to keep a copy of that as well.

In the event that the recipient fails to comply with the demands made in the cease and desist letter, you can consider pursuing a court order to stop the offending activity. It is best for the sender to consult counsel at this point to obtain advice on the best course of action.

LegalNature can help you with all of your personal legal form needs. Let us help you get started today. Click here to create your cease and desist letter now.

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