Businesses often use cease and desist letters to stop harmful and potentially illegal activity by another business or an individual without having to take the matter to court. While a cease and desist letter doesn’t have legal weight in and of itself, it puts someone on formal notice that they may be the subject of legal action if they don’t “cease and desist” their activity.
These types of letters aren’t something you should just download from a website and put your signature on. They need to be carefully written to address the issue at hand. They may also need the approval of a court or, in some cases, a government agency. It’s crucial to ensure that the recipient replies to the letter by the deadline provided and to be prepared to move forward with legal action if necessary.
When are cease and desist letters typically used?
Businesses and individuals use cease and desist letters for a number of purposes. Among the most common are the following:
- Contract violations – for example, if a former employee is in breach of a non-compete agreement they signed with you
- Harassment – for example, if a collection company is violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCAPA) to collect a debt owed by your company
- Libel, defamation or slander – for example, maybe a local (or national) celebrity has been routinely making fun of your business and the quality of your service or products to the point where it’s costing you customers
A cease and desist letter can be a warning to a person or business that didn’t realize the ramifications of their actions or who thought they could get away with them. It’s often enough to motivate people to stop out of fear of a costly lawsuit.
A well-crafted cease and desist letter detailing the liability the recipient is facing if they don’t stop their actions can save you time, money and headaches. We help businesses with cease and desist letters. Contact us for a consultation.