Cease And Desist Letters
Response To Cease And Desist Letter Defamation
You should not panic when you receive a cease and desist letter. A cease and desist letter is simply a warning that you are likely to face a lawsuit if you continue a certain harmful action. It is also a sign there is an opportunity to settle the case outside a courtroom. You can avoid going to court by responding to a cease and desist letter appropriately. A cease and desist letter is also called a cease and desist notice or stop harassment letter or demand letter.
What A Cease And Desist Letter Means
A cease and desist letter notifies a person or business that they are engaging in an illegal behavior and that they must stop engaging in that behavior. The letter may also outline the legal actions that the recipient may face if they do not stop behaving in a certain way. However, a cease and desist letter does not have any legal weight because it cannot force you to do anything. But since it explains the violation you are engaging in, you cannot claim that you did not understand the violation if you are sued. You or your business can receive a cease and desist letter for plagiarism, breach of company copyright, character assassination and more.
Do Not Confuse Cease and Desist Letter With Cease And Desist Order
A cease and desist order is actually an injunction or a restraining order. A cease and desist letter is sent by an individual or the individual’s lawyer, but an order is issued by a court or by a government agency. A cease and desist order is just an order to you or your business to stop a certain illegal or harmful behavior or else face jail time and other penalties. Anyone can obtain a cease and desist order by filing a lawsuit with the court.
Responding to A Cease And Desist Letter
Show your attorney the cease and desist letter as soon as you receive it. Your attorney will review the letter to determine whether the cease and desist claim is legitimate. An experienced attorney can explain to you the events that prompted the letter. The following are some options you have when you receive a cease and desist letter:
- Your lawyer can respond with a refusal or request for more detailed information
- You may agree to the author’s demands and cease the illegal behavior
- Your lawyer can help you file for a summary judgment
- You may also choose to ignore the letter but that is not recommended
Your lawyer’s response to a cease and desist letter cannot be used as evidence in court, but a response you personally drafted can be used as evidence.
What To Do After Reading A Cease And Desist Letter
The only person you should talk to about the contents of a cease and desist letter is your attorney. Do not share it online because anything you share online is admissible in court. You should make copies of the cease and desist letter and gather other material that you can use as evidence just in case you get sued. Talk to your attorney to see if it is possible to negotiate with the author of the cease and desist letter.