Last revision: 30-03-2023
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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 include 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 includes 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 Defendant was put on notice about their offending behaviour, so the more detailed the letter, the better.
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Other names for the document: Cease and Desist from Defamation, General Letter to Stop Defaming Activities, Letter to Cease Nuisance, Letter to Stop Annoying Activities, Notice to Cease Defamation