Cease and Desist Letter Help Guide

A cease and desist letter may be used at any time to request that activities be stopped that are violating your rights or, if you are an attorney, the rights of your client. This help guide will assist you in completing your letter and in understanding how to use it to your greatest advantage.


Letter Type

Begin by selecting the type of cease and desist letter 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 you will need a "General cease and desist." For instance, this would be your selection if you are trying to stop someone from spreading defamatory remarks, slander, or libel.

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.

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.

Details of the Violation

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

  • Debt collection – You will need to answer three specific questions: 1) the date on which the debt collector last contacted the aggrieved party, 2) the entity claiming that it is owed the debt, and 3) the account number or reference number for the debt for which repayment is sought.
  • Copyright infringement – You will need to answer three specific questions: 1) the name of the copyrighted work that is being infringed upon, 2) the date on which this copyrighted work was first created (when the copyright went into effect), and 3) the name of the infringing work.
  • Trademark infringement – You will need to answer three specific questions: 1) describe the trademark that is being infringed upon, 2) the date on which this trademark was first created (when the trademark went into effect), and 3) describe the infringing 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 gold star surrounding the letters DLJ in white."
  • Harassment – Simply describe the activities that constitute the harassment you are trying to stop. Be detailed in your description and include any relevant dates.
  • Breach of contract – You will need to answer three specific questions: 1) describe the activities that constituted the breach of contract, 2) explain why these activities amount to a breach of contract, and 3) include 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 'Employee agrees to not compete with Employer's business within a radius of five miles from Employer's store for a period of six months following termination of employment.' Therefore, you breached the contract by working in the same industry and geographic area as Employer within this time frame."
  • General cease and desist – Simply describe the activities that you are trying to stop. Be detailed in your description and include any relevant dates.

Cease and Desist Agreement

The form builder will ask you whether you want to include a cease and desist agreement. This is a short 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. 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 select 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.

Final Steps

Before sending the letter, be sure to read it thoroughly so that you understand its contents. You may attach any relevant documents you feel are necessary or that show evidence of the offending activities you are trying to stop. For instance, if you select 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.


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