CASE STUDY

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Cease and Desist Letter Template

To stop harassment or unlawful behavior by an individual or business, you need to use a cease and desist letter template. This written notice informs those harassing you to stop (cease) doing so now and in the future (desist), or face legal action.

Since it is a fairly simple letter, you don't need a lawyer to help you draft this notice. However, it always helps to get an expert opinion from a lawyer (especially if yours is a complicated case). 

If you need to warn a harasser before taking legal action against them, fill out this cease and desist letter template and send it to the recipient with an online signature solution like SignEasy (try it for free here).

What goes into a cease and desist letter template?

Many times, people want to avoid drawn-out and expensive lawsuits. They would rather  communicate with the perpetrator first, formally asking them to stop their unwelcome actions. This is where a cease and desist letter template can be really useful.

When using a ready-made cease and desist letter template, make sure that it has the following elements:

Sender and recipient

As with most formal letters, introduce the two parties involved in this disagreement. The sender is the person or the business that wishes to put an end to the harassment/defamation/threats they are facing. 

Include your name and contact details under the “From” heading. 

Meanwhile, the recipient is the perpetrator of the unwanted actions. Enter the recipient’s name and contact details under the “To” heading.

Also, include the date on which the letter is sent to the recipient. 


Address the unlawful behavior

Make sure that the subject line clearly and succinctly indicates what the cease and desist order is all about. 

Then, address the perpetrator (in the salutation).

Next, in the body of the letter, mention that you have served them this letter as a notice to stop their unlawful activities towards you. 

Then, go into a detailed description of the behavior. This could include trademark infringement or copyright infringement, debt collector nuisance (even if you owe them money), NDA violation, defamation, etc.

All of this should be presented in a stern manner so that the perpetrator is compelled to accept the terms outlined.


Highlight the losses incurred

In this part of the letter, you should explain the mental, physical, and financial trauma that the perpetrator's actions have caused you. Quantifying the negative of their actions adds credibility to your claim.

Some of the losses that can be mentioned range from anxiety and destruction of property to bodily harm.

Note: You should also attach incriminating evidence like phone recordings, photographs, inappropriate text messages, or instances of unauthorized use of copyrighted materials if you have evidence on hand. Be sure to ask your legal advisor about which types of proof you are allowed to share.


Request for resolution

In light of the issues highlighted, you will then request that the perpetrator ceases their unwanted behavior immediately. An additional requirement can be that they confirm, in writing, their decision to stop these activities within a set period of time (usually 5-10 business days).


Legal action

Round off this letter by confirming that you will be forced to take legal action against the perpetrator if they do not take this cease and desist order seriously. 


This is also a good time to list the type of legal action that you are considering in case this letter is not honored.


Online signature

This is the final step, where the sender signs off on the notice to make it a legally binding document.


While cease and desist letters are traditionally sent via snail mail, they can be dispatched much faster online. To avoid all physical contact between the two parties, as well as take printers, paper, and scanners out of the equation, it’s best to just sign and send this legal document via SignEasy.


When do you send a cease and desist letter?

Any type of harassment or unlawful activity can warrant a cease and desist letter. Here are some of the most common reasons that cease and desist letters are sent:

  1. Breach of contract or NDA – If a party does not comply with a legally binding  agreement.
  2. Copyright infringement, trademark infringement, or patent infringement – When the perpetrator unlawfully uses copyrighted material or a federally registered trademark.
  3. Debt collector – When a creditor threatens or bothers you with regards to a debt that you owe.
  4. Defamation – When libelous or slanderous statements are made.
  5. Harassment – In response to all kinds of inappropriate behavior such as lewd comments, personal attacks, emotional abuse, or physical abuse.


You could also write a letter in response to a cease and desist letter. This letter should clearly state your position regarding the claims made by the sender.

How to sign a cease and desist letter template

  1. Download the cease and desist letter template.
  2. Upload the template to SignEasy.
  3. Click on the placeholders to fill it in.
  4. Click on the signature section to incorporate your unique online signature.
  5. Click “Finish.”


Once you sign the legal document, you can share it with the recipient in just a few clicks!

Cease and desist letter vs cease and desist order


Cease and desist order

  • Written and sent by the court or a government agency.
  • Demands that the perpetrator stop their harassment or illegal behavior.
  • Requires the perpetrator to send a response to the governmental agency or court.
  • Prevents the perpetrator from legally continuing their unlawful activities.


Cease and desist letter

  • Written and sent by anyone, including an individual or business.
  • Requests that the perpetrator stop their harassment or illegal behavior.
  • Requires the perpetrator to send a response to the sender of the letter.
  • The perpetrator can continue their unlawful activities, though they are advised not to as it could be considered unlawful at a later date.

SignEasy eSignatures for cease and desist letter template


SignEasy is a mobile-first eSignature platform that offers a quick and easy paperless solution for creating and sending cease and desist letters. What’s more, we also ensure that each document is secure and legally binding. 


Here are some of the other features SignEasy offers to streamline the signing and sharing process:

  1. Remotely sign and send the letter: It’s a pain to deal with printers, scanners, copiers, and courier agencies. Why not go paperless with SignEasy instead? Our software allows you to edit and send letters online in a matter of minutes! Plus, you can avoid any in-person contact with your harasser.
  2. Track receipt of letter: In case you choose to file a lawsuit at a later date, the cease and desist letter that you send now will be admissible in a court of law if you can prove that it was successfully delivered to the recipient. Usually, such letters are sent as certified mail with a return receipt,  but SignEasy’s audit trail makes it even easier to confirm that the perpetrator received the letter at their email address. 
  3. Reuse document templates: The ability to store and use templates on SignEasy is one of the solution’s biggest benefits. The ability to upload a cease and desist letter template, adjust the content, and send it to different recipients makes the entire process significantly more time-efficient.
  4. Comply with global eSignature legislation: Documents completed with SignEasy comply with the ESIGN Act and eIDAS. This cease and desist letter can therefore be presented as evidence in any court of law to show that you formally requested the perpetrator to cease their unlawful activities.


If you need to send out a letter like this one, give SignEasy’s free demo a shot. We can show you how to sign and manage a cease and desist letter template and so much more!

FAQs about using a cease and desist letter template


The cease and desist letter template is a simple document that can help you create distance between yourself and unwanted persons or businesses. 


Can I write my own cease and desist letter?

Absolutely. Cease and desist letters are straightforward documents that follow a basic formal letter format. You just need to make sure that the body of the letter clearly outlines your issues with the recipient and the action you wish for them to take to avoid legal recourse. However, if the issue is particularly complex, it's always best to seek legal advice from a lawyer.


How do you write a professional cease and desist letter?

  1. Start with the sender and recipients’ names and addresses (be sure to include the date when the letter is being sent).
  2. Include the perpetrator’s name in the salutation.
  3. The subject of the letter should be ‘Notice to cease and desist a specific activity.’
  4. In the body of the letter, clearly mention that the document is a notice for the perpetrator to stop their hurtful or unlawful behavior.
  5. Mention the types of behavior and the losses incurred as a result.
  6. Ask for an immediate end to such behavior and actions, along with a written response to this letter within a given period of time.
  7. Mention that you will take legal action in the event that the recipient refuses to comply with the requests in this letter.
  8. Sign the document with an eSignature solution and send.


Are cease and desist letters effective?

Cease and desist letters are used to warn perpetrators that their actions or behaviors are not acceptable. This is the best way to resolve an issue without getting into the complexities and expenses associated with taking legal action. And, if you so choose, you can file a lawsuit after sending the notice if the perpetrator doesn't respect your requests.


What are the grounds for a cease and desist?

You may send a cease and desist letter in case of annoyances related to debt collection, trademark infringement or copyright infringement, defamation, NDA contract breach, violation of a non-compete agreement, etc.


What happens if you ignore a cease and desist letter?

Ignoring a cease and desist letter will likely result in the sender filing a lawsuit against you. This is why you should never ignore a cease and desist order or letter.


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