What is a Cease & Desist Letter and when to use it?

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What is a Cease & Desist Letter?

A cease and desist letter, also known as a demand or infringement letter, is the quickest and easiest way to stop harassing actions or enforce your legal rights. A cease and desist order is an effective tool that ensures the recipient understands the seriousness of the situation. For example, common situations may include debt collection, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, breach of contract, harassment, or defamation.

When to Use a Cease & Desist Letter?

Imagine a situation where you want to stop debt collectors from calling or harassing you. After they receive the letter, they are only allowed to contact you once more to tell you what actions they are planning on taking. Another possibility is where a party is breaching your contract and you are notifying them to stop or else you will file a lawsuit against them. Perhaps, the situation involves someone infringing on your copyright or trademark and you have notified them to stop or you will file a lawsuit. Yet, another common scenario is where someone is harassing or defaming you.

Details of the Violation

Below is a more in-depth look at the different scenarios that may require a cease and desist letter:

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 XYZ in black.”


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 5(a) states that ‘Employee agrees to not compete with Employer’s business within a radius of ten miles from Employer’s store for a period of six months following termination of employment.’

Cease and desist letters play a crucial role in today’s intertwined society, and are a helpful tool in combating abusive or illegal behavior.

I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”

As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!

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