Cease & Desist Letter

A Cease & Desist Letter

The literary meaning of ‘cease and desist’ means to stop doing something now and in the future.

A cease and desist letter is a formal document sent to an individual or company engaging in infringing activities that affect the life and business of the aggrieved party.  It is usually written by the affected party or attorney of the aggrieved party to ask the infringing party to stop performing the unpermitted activity. If the offending party refuses to comply, he/she (or the organization) could be charged to court.

If the cease and desist letter is ignored, a cease and desist order is sent to the infringing party. This second form is a legal order or an injunction by the court of law ordering the infringing party to stop whatever rules they violate. Since the order is backed by the government, the offending party might be prosecuted if they refuse to abide by the cease and desist order.

The content of a cease and desist letter contains a detailed description of the claims laid by the infringing party. In most cases, there is a call to action embedded at the end of the letter so that the offending party sends a response within a set timeframe. If the offending party ignores this letter and goes ahead with the harassing activities. Legal action might be taken.

Types of cease and desist letter

There are several types of cease and desist letter, depending on the type of offense has been committed. Some of them are listed below.

Breach of contract cease and desist letter

A breach of contract happens when a party violates the terms and conditions stated in an agreement. Hence, the breach of contract cease and desist letter is sent to the offending party. This notifies them of the breach of contract and mandates them to send a corresponding response.

Copyright infringement cease and desist letter

Copyright infringement is the use of works without the permission of the copyright owners. When copyright has been violated, a copyright infringement cease and desist letter may be written to notify them of this violation.

Debt collector cease and desist letter

This is used in cases where a person is being harassed by a debt collector. This letter informs the creditor to stop all forms of communication related to the owed debt.

Defamation cease and desist letter

Slander and libel are false statements to damage the reputation of an individual or a company. In this case, the aggrieved party sends a cease and desist letter to the offending party, warning them of the repercussion of their actions.

Harassment cease and desist letter

This letter serves as the last warning to people who engage in inappropriate behavior such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and harassment.

Intellectual property cease and desist letter

The use of proprietary information without exclusive permission by the patent owner is illegal. Hence, a cease and desist letter is sent to the offending party.

Non-disclosure (NDA) violation cease and desist letter

A non-disclosure agreement prevents the parties under contract from divulging confidential information to external parties. In situations where this contract is violated, a cease and desist letter is sent to the offending parties.

Trademark Infringement cease and desist letter

If a brand’s trademark is violated by an individual, this letter notifies the offending party of this infringement and asks them to make corrections.

What are the differences between a letter and an order?

Even though they have similar contents and serve the same purpose, there are different from each other. A cease and desist letter is written by the aggrieved party or an attorney to the aggrieved party. At the same time, the order is issued by the government or the court of law.

The Cease and desist order has a more significant consequence (if ignored) than the letter.

How to write a cease and desist letter?

Writing a cease and desist letter is relatively easy. Basically, all you have to do is give detailed information about the violations happening to you and ask them to stop such activities. You might want to write your letter using a scary tone. The idea is to intimidate the receiver into stopping what they are doing. Aside from that, you have to be clear about your grievance so the other party would know what to do to remedy the situation

Hire an attorney to write it for you or write it by yourself. If you decide to write it yourself, follow this guide to convey your message across in the best way possible. You can also create a custom Do-it-yourself Cease & Desist Letter using free software from Law Depot.

Outline of a cease and desist letter

Let’s get started.

The cease and desist letter should contain the following information

  • Your name and contact information
  • The date
  • The receiver’s name and information
  • A title stating your grievance with the recipient
  • A clear explanation of your grievance.
  • Notice of lawsuit if the recipient doesn’t comply
  • Your signature

To make your case tight, you should attach evidence such as text messages, audio recordings, and graphic images or show instances where your intellectual property and trademarks were infringed upon.

How to deliver your cease and desist letter

There is no fixed way to deliver your cease and desist letter. However, it is common practice to send the letter to the official mailing address of the receiver via certified mail.

You can also send it online through OnlineCertifiedMail.com. Another option is to send it to the email of the company.

After delivering your letter, it is best to give the receiver time to respond to your message. Usually, you should give the receiver five to ten business days to allow the receiver enough time to send his response across. During this period, you could prepare for legal action if no response is sent.

However, if the offending party responds to your letter, the best thing to do is settle it out of court. Conversely, if no response is sent, file for a cease and desist order from the court of law.

Sample of a cease of desist letter

Check below to see a sample of a cease and desist letter for a specific activity





Re:  Notice to cease and desist for a specific activity

Dear Sir/Ma,

With this letter, I hereby request that you CEASE AND DESIST from ______state the specific activity_________.

If you do not cease the aforementioned activity, legal action would be taken against you and any accomplices in this matter

These actions are unwanted and excessive, thus, affecting my interests and the interests of my company. Hence, this letter serves as a pre-suit letter requesting you cease and desist from these activities.

Hopefully, we don’t have to go to court. But, if you do not send a response before ___Date____, I shall take legal action to rectify this situation.




If you would like to create a custom Do-it-yourself Cease & Desist Letter then check out Law Depots free tools.


The letter above is an ideal sample of how your cease and desist letter should be. The model can be adjusted based on the reason for your letter.

Remember that your cease and desist letter should be sent out as certified mail with return receipt. This ensures that your recipient will have to sign for it, forcing the person to acknowledge that they have received the letter. Also, remember to keep a copy of your record before mailing it out, and to keep that copy in a designated folder where you can easily access it.

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