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Cease-and-Desist Letters v. Cease-and-Desist Orders

Cease-and-desist letter in hand

The common misconception is that the terms cease and desist letter and cease and desist order mean the same thing and are used interchangeably. But they are actually two different things and require two different parties. Below is an explanation of the two different types of cease-and-desists and what is required from both of them.

A Cease-and-desist Letter

A cease-and-desist letter is a very common legal tactic used today. A cease-and-desist letter is usually not admissible in court, but is a way to stop someone from acting a certain way before bringing a lawsuit against them. Cease and desist letters could be used in a majority of different claims from different potential plaintiffs. However, there are some specific claims that are more common and are more effective with cease-and-desist letters. To better ensure your claim could be addressed with a cease-and-desist letter, contact our attorneys today.

A cease-and-desist letter is a notification to a potential defendant to stop what they are doing, and puts them on notice that there will be a possible potential lawsuit against them if they were to continue with their actions. If the defendant decides to ignore the cease-and-desist letter, the next step would be for the plaintiff to issue a lawsuit against them.

Although there are no specific formal requirements that must be met when writing a cease-and-desist letter, it is crucial to have some terms in the document in order to have a stronger effect onto the defendant. For more information on cease-and-desist letters and drafting an effective cease-and-desist letter, contact our Los Angeles experienced attorneys at Heidari Law.

What Should a Cease-and-desist Letter Include?

Although there are no requirements, there are certain things to include in a cease-and-desist letter to be completely effective.

  • Your name
  • Your home or business address
  • City, state, and zip code
  • Phone number and email contact information
  • The other party’s name and address
  • Date of when the letter was created
  • Date of the potential cause of action
  • Cease and desist language such as, “I hereby request you CEASE and DESIST actions involving…”
  • Any supplemental files
  • The statement of intent to pursue legal action should the receiver not follow the cease-and-desist letter
  • A date of when the potential plaintiff will pursue the action in court
  • Refrain From using threatening language or inappropriate words in a cease-and-desist letter

What is a Cease-and-desist Letter Used For?

A cease-and-desist letter is a cost-effective way to potentially prevent a lawsuit. Going to court would require thousands of dollars, and if a defendant were to follow a cease-and-desist letter, both parties could prevent expensive litigation.

How to Send a Cease-and-desist Letter

Once the cease-and-desist letter has been drafted, the potential plaintiffs must send over the letter. Our attorneys advise to send over the letter with registered and certified mail that requires signature confirmation upon delivery. This is to prevent any future miscommunications and claims that it has not been delivered.

When the defendant decides to cease their actions after receiving the letter, then both parties could prevent litigation. But, if the defendant ignores the cease-and-desist letter, parties will have to go through litigation. This letter serves as a notice that the defendant was warned of a possible litigation and could be admissible in court.

In What Cases is a Cease-and-desist Letter Used?

A cease-and-desist letter could be used in every possible claim, however, there are certain cases and claims that are more effective when issuing the cease-and-desist letter. These include:

  • Harassment: a cease-and-desist letter is sent to an offending party to potentially stop the party from harassing the individual. In some cases though, this may cause the offending party to continue the harassment in retaliation of the cease-and-desist letter. If this continues despite the letter being sent, we advise you to seek legal action immediately to prevent any further altercations.
  • Defamation: defamation is when there is a false and defamatory statements made against a person. A person may bring a cease-and-desist letter against the offending party so the offending party can refrain from continuing to make these statements. There are two types of defamation, which include slander and libel. Libel is written defamation, whereas slander is spoken defamation.
  • Collecting debt:  many pursue cease-and-desist letters against debt collection agencies for any harassment that they may endure due to nonpayment.
  • Breach of contract actions: this is the most common type of scenario where a cease-and-desist letter would be used. In breach of contract actions, one party sends the letter to prevent the other party from engaging in some activity that goes against the contract. For example, when two people have entered into a contract for the sale of property, the non-breaching party could send a cease-and-desist letter to the breaching party if they were to sell the house to someone else. The cease-and-desist letter is meant to stop the breaching party from selling the property to someone else. If the breaching party received the letter and does nothing, the other party could then bring the lawsuit to court to enforce the property sale contract.

Cease-and-desist Order

A cease-and-desist order is also known as an injunction. A cease-and-desist order could be written by a variety of possible potential plaintiffs, which include government agencies, or attorneys. Similar to cease-and-desist letters, cease and desist orders are not legally binding but are used to offer legal notice of a potential lawsuit.

The common contrast between a cease-and-desist orders and a cease-and-desist letters is that an order is issued by a government entity. This entity then asks the offending party to stop their actions. If the offending party refrains from responding to their actions, a potential lawsuit could be created against them. When an offending party response to a cease-and-desist letter, they will most likely respond to an individual party or their attorney. But, a cease-and-desist order requires the offending party to respond to a specific government agency. A government agency has more power in that they could potentially prohibit and make illegal the offending parties’ actions without even going to court.

As you can see it is very crucial to get specific terms and phrases right when sending out a cease-and-desist letter or order. It is advised to seek legal help immediately prior to drafting the letter to determine the best legal course of action. The stronger the cease-and-desist letter is, the more likely the potential defendant would stop their actions. In the unfortunate case that the defendant decides to ignore the cease-and-desist letter, our experienced litigation attorneys will help to defend you in court by using our best legal strategies to get you just compensation.

Our attorneys are experienced in several types of lawsuits. If you or someone you know has received a cease-and-desist letter or needs assistance sending a cease-and-desist letter, contact our experienced Los Angeles attorneys today for a free consultation.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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