Understanding the Meaning of Cease and Desist

A cease and desist can come in two forms.  It can come as an actual order from a judge or other government authority; it can also come in the form of a letter from a person or corporation.  No matter which one you get them they both mean the same thing, you are being asked to halt and activity and do not do it again.  While a court order holds more weight, cease and desist letters are just the first step in most cases. These letters are not to be taken lightly due to the fact if they are ignored can bring further legal action against you.

These letters are to inform the recipient that certain activities are in question and why.  There are many purposes for these documents can be used  for, such as to stop a Collection agency to stop harassment by telephones, for property, neighborhood, and boundary disputes as well as Libel or slander issues.   These are not the only things anything that can be addressed in a cease and desist document, it can be used to address many civil issues either corporate or personal.  Any person whose legal rights are being abuse or exploited can choose to use a cease and desist letter as long as there is a reasonable expectation that there is legal standing.  Meaning sending you children a cease and desist letter for arguing with each other in not reasonable as there is not legal recourse; however, an ex-spouse is posting things that can be considered libel is a good use for a cease and desist letter. 

A cease and desist letter has several things that it does.  These letters show the judge that the issue was brought to the attention of the other party to no avail.   In a good case it may stop the issue and prevent any further court dates.  It also puts into writing the issues that are in question, allowing there to be written evidence of notice between parties.  When dealing with the court system having everything in writing is a must.  

These letters are usually used as the first step in many in a legal process.  While it’s a great legal tool it must not be used lightly.  If you use any legal tool but are not prepared to go the whole distance it will take the effectiveness of this letter away.  A very good way to make sure you have a great cause for a cease and deists letter is do your homework.  Research the laws that are being violated and how the courts usually deal with these issues.  The more knowledge you have the better and more effective your cease and desist letter will be.