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Cease and Desist Letter

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Learn more about Cease and Desist Letter

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Reviewed by Rocket Lawyer On Call Attorney  Jonathan Torres, Esq

Whether you're being harassed by a collection agency, want to assert your ownership of a copyright, or just want to formally tell someone to stop hassling you, a Cease and Desist Letter does the job. It's a simple way to create a paper trail that asserts your ownership of intellectual property or tells an annoying party that you're fed up.

  • You want to formally tell someone to stop.
  • You're being harassed.
  • You're a victim of copyright or trademark infringement.
  • You own a business and want to be prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Cease and Desist Form, Cease and Desist Notice, Stop Harassment Letter

When you want to tell someone to formally knock it off, a Cease and Desist Letter might be your trump card. Maybe someone's ripping off your trademarked idea. Maybe your copyrighted work has gotten into the wrong hands. Or maybe you just don't want to screen your phone calls anymore. Good news - you don't have to take it forever. Formally telling someone to stop certain behavior is sometimes all that's needed. You can regain some peace. Being harassed is stressful, potentially dangerous, and illegal. So is someone stealing your ideas or work. Getting a Cease and Desist Letter can help you end things on your terms.

Much like an affidavit or a general business contract, a Cease and Desist Letter can be used for many different reasons. Often times, simply writing a letter will get the offending party to stop, allowing you both to avoid the time and hassle of a court case, which, even if you're in the right, is something you'd do best to avoid.

Here are the four most common triggers for writing a Cease and Desist Letter. If you're unsure about whether a Cease and Desist Letter is right for your situation, ask a lawyer.

Harassment
Just because harassment can take many forms, doesn't mean you have to take it. Let whoever's harassing you know you won't stand for it by sending them a Cease and Desist Letter. In it, you'll want to note the date the harassment started and a full description of the offending party's actions. Then, you'll want to tell them the date you expect to hear back from them before you take the next step.

Copyright Infringement
Whether you're a writer whose work has been appropriated without her approval or a business whose copyrights are being used without your consent, a Cease and Desist Letter is a great first step in getting back what's yours. Often times, just receiving a professional, succinct Cease and Desist is enough to get the offending party to stop using your copyrighted material and, even if it isn't, you'll have proof that you tried before resorting to the legal system. You'll want to include details about the copyrighted work in question, proof that you hold the copyright, and the instances where that intellectual property is being infringed upon. You can also include any documentation you think helps make your case for you.

Trademark Infringement
Though quite similar to copyright infringement, there are a few key differences when dealing with trademark infringement. For starters, trademarks are more easily enforceable. For example, a written work is de facto copyrighted when written, while a trademark must be applied for. Describe the work that's being infringed upon (such as a logo or design) as best you can and the date you noticed that trademark was being unfairly used. Include any documentation you have and describe to the offending party what steps you expect them to take to rectify the infringement.

Collections Agency Harassment
Debt collectors are nothing if not tenacious. If you're constantly checking your caller ID or you fear even opening your mailbox, you might be dealing with a collections agency who is behaving badly. In your Cease and Desist Letter, note the date they started contacting you and the reasons you feel it's burdensome and counterproductive. Include details about the debt itself (such as the original amount of the debt and the account number, if applicable) and include any sort of documentation that might help your cause.

A Cease and Desist Letter can be triggered by many different events. Depending on your situation, you may need:

People who need a Cease and Desist Letter sometimes find themselves in need of an attorney. If you have any questions about what's right for you, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review.

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