How to write a strongly worded cease and desist letter? Download this Cease and Desist Demand Letter template now!
While cease and desist demand letters may be written for several reasons, most are written when someone owes you money. There is no single format for drafting the best cease and desist demand letter but there are certain guidelines that can help you draft an effective one. If done correctly, a cease and desist demand letter can be just the thing to persuade the other party into obeying the request.
Often demand letters are written to:
- demand for copyright infringement
- demand for stopping false accusations
- legal claims
- settlement demand
- collection demand letter
A well-constructed cease and desist demand letter can be a very powerful document. Cease and desist demand letters can be formal letters written by an attorney on behalf of a client demanding payment or some other action from another party. They can also be less formal and written by one individual to another demanding payment. This document already includes an example 'Copyright Infringement Settlement Agreement
', since the demand explained is regarding a Copyright Infringement Settlement. In general, a demand letter includes
- what action is demanded;
- why the action is being demanded;
- what are the consequences for non-payment;
- a time limit to comply with the demand letter.
Consider the relationship status and long-term view, in order to determine the tone of the demand letter. If you are not going to hire an attorney to do this for you, it’s important to draft the demand letter with as little emotion as possible. As they say, stick to the facts.
Structure of a Cease and Desist Demand Letter
Cease and Desist defamation:
Dear [Mr./Ms.] [Contact Person’s Last Name] / To Whom It May Concern:
It has come to my/our attention that you and your company have made defamatory and false statements about me/us [and my/our _____ [business/company/other – user to write in]]. [User to enter a detailed description of each false statement(s) made about the user. Include specifics such as where, when, and how (e.g. written, spoken) the false statements were made. Include how the false statements were “published” which is how a third party heard or saw the statement. Include the reason(s) why the statement(s) is false.]
I/We have suffered [substantial harm / economic harm / reputational harm/ harm to my business/harm to my character and reputation / another type of harm, damage or injury – user to write in] as a result of the defamatory and false statement(s) that you and your company have made. [User to enter a description of how the false statements have injured the user such as to the user’s character, reputation, trade, profession, or business.]
We hereby demand that you: immediately cease and desist from making any and all false and defamatory statements against me/us [and my/our business]; within _____[number of days] days of the date of the letter, remove all defamatory statements and content [from __________[location of publication e.g. forum posts, websites] [and publish a retraction]; and notify us in writing when these tasks have been completed. If you do not cease and desist within the above-stated time period, we will be forced to take appropriate legal action against you and we will seek all available damages and remedies.
The first part, the introduction of the reason of the demand letter, will be a review of the facts that caused writing this letter. The facts are the important component and the basis of your demand. Therefore we advise for getting the facts straight, which is also a good preparation if this matter ends up in court.
The next part will discuss the services or actions you performed, that caused why the person owes you the money. It can be that you did work for him/her, which was never paid for? Often a demand letter is written because someone borrowed money and the debtor refused to pay it back. Also if personal injuries occur, or if a property is destroyed without having any reimbursement. This section should be flawless, clear and summarizing.
In the next part, you will outline the consequences for non-payment. Remember here that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar; so you want to be polite and respectful. Considering the demand letter is by nature a threatening letter, it’s better to keep the facts straight and there’s no need to express extra aggression. The aim is to reach an agreement, which both parties can live with.
Instead of threatening to take them to court, you could suggest a meeting to discuss options or perhaps enter mediation. Remember that an angry letter may bring about an aggressive response and further postponement of a resolution. If the aim is to put the matter to rest as fast as possible, writing an offensive demand letter is not a good approach.
Finally, in the last part of the demand letter, you should always mention a period of time that this matter must be solved: the deadline. Always consider giving a reasonable time frame that is workable to receive the payment of a debt, or agree to a payment schedule. Make it very clear that he/she must respond to the letter within a set time period. If you leave it ambiguous, you are setting yourself up for further delays.
Make sure you are crafting a letter that is professional-looking. Now that the letter is written and sent (preferably registered mail) sit back and wait until the offered time is expired. In any case, do not call or harass or try to intimidate the other party.
For this matter, you do not need a lawyer to write this demand letter; you can write the demand letter by yourself and save yourself the cost and effort of hiring an attorney.
We help you by providing several kinds of sample demand letters. However, if you have any reservations about drafting a demand letter yourself, you should at least talk to an attorney about your situation to get the right advice.
Our templates are all crafted by legal professionals. Using this Cease and Desist Demand Letter guarantees you will save time, costs, and effort!