A Cease and Desist Letter is a letter sent to an individual or business that is engaging in unwelcome or illegal behaviour. The letter acts as a formal request that the recipient stop ("cease") and not continue ("desist") this behaviour. If the recipient of the letter fails to comply with these demands, the sender should be prepared to take further legal action to stop the behaviour that is harming or interfering with the sender's rights and abilities to conduct business.
For matters relating to Copyright Infringement or Trademark Infringement respectively, we have another template available - see our Copyright or Trademark Infringement Cease and Desist Letter.
How to use this document
A Cease and Desist letter includes the following basic elements:
Once the letter has been completed, it should be sent by registered post or courier to the individual or business that has been conducting the offensive behaviour.
There are no laws outlining what must be included in a Cease and Desist letter. However, best practices and customary usage dictate that a Cease and Desist include a detailed description of the offending behaviour and a clear demand that the behaviour stop or else legal action will be taken.
If the matter ends up in court, a Cease and Desist letter can be used to show that the Defendant was put on notice about their offending behaviour, so the more detailed the letter, the better.
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