A Cease and Desist Letter for Harassment

Some people don’t know how to handle break-ups. They get so vengeful that they sometimes stray into abuse and harassment. In the world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, those hurt feelings can turn into proper cyberstalking

One Reddit user illustrated in her horrific story how far this dangerous situation could go. Her ex-boyfriend created a website and several social media accounts spreading lies that she is an alcoholic, has sex for money, and hates her job. He published her address and private photos, sent prank glitter bombs to her place of work, and even filed a slanderous complaint with her licensing board since she’s a social worker. 

One of the first things you can do in such cases is to write and send a harassment cease and desist letter to the person bothering you.

What Is a Cease and Desist Letter?

A Cease and Desist Letter is a written notice that you can send to individuals, businesses, and organizations. It is primarily used to notify the recipient that they are committing acts of harassment or infringement against you and to ask them to stop such unlawful or unsolicited behavior. Besides being called a cease and desist letter, it is known as:

  • Cease and desist notice
  • Stop harassment letter
  • Demand letter

A Cease and Desist Letter or Order for Harassment?

While a cease and desist letter is sent by an individual or their lawyer, an order, also known as an injunction or restraining order, is issued by a court of law or a government agency. An order is legally binding, and if the recipient doesn’t stop their unwanted or harassing behavior, they can be found in contempt of court. This situation usually ends with penalties like fines or some time in jail. 

A cease and desist letter is often the first step that an individual can take on their own when facing harassment. If you want to get a restraining order against someone, you will have to file a lawsuit or other paperwork with the court, depending on your state’s legislation. 

When to Send a Cease and Desist Letter?

If you experienced any repeated and often offensive behavior that has the goal to threaten, intimidate, or annoy you, you might think about using a cease and desist letter as your first method of protection. The most common situations when to send it include:

  1. Harassment 
  2. Debt collection
  3. Trademark infringement
  4. Copyright infringement
  5. Defamation (including libel and slander)

Since harassment involves many different scenarios and has multiple subcategories, here is a closer overview of some harassing actions that might require a cease and desist letter:

How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter for Harassment

Your cease and desist letter doesn’t have to be long, and there are multiple templates online that you can choose from. While you’re making your first draft, make sure to state what actions you found harassing and clearly state that you want them to stop—stay on course and don’t bury your point in unnecessary details. 

While a cease and desist letter needs to be straight to the point and instill a certain level of fear of legal repercussions, you don’t want to be accused of harassment yourself. An excellent example of the closing remark could be “Govern yourself accordingly.” 

It helps if you research federal and state laws regarding your case and quote them or refer to them in the letter. This move will prove that you are serious and that you have the legal system on your side. 

Whether you’re writing on your own or using a cease and desist letter harassment template, you can consult this table about what to include and what to avoid: 

What to Do

What Not to Do

  • Include the name of the sender and the receiver, followed by their contact information
  • State a date when you wrote the letter
  • Provide a thorough and concise description of actions or behavior you found harassing or unwanted
  • State the amount of time the receiver has to stop the harassing behavior before you take the next step
  • Don’t use an overly aggressive tone
  • Don’t make empty threats, eg., mentioning lawsuits unless you are ready to go to court
  • Don’t use vague statements

Sending a Cease and Desist Letter

It is a common misconception that a representative of law must send a cease and desist letter. While it looks more formal and maybe pressuring to have a lawyer’s name on your envelope, the letter is legitimate even if you send it by yourself. 

There are also multiple ways to deliver the letter. You can send it via email, for the most informal impression, or certified mail, if you need a record that it was given to the right person as they will have to sign for it. Whatever you decide, remember to make a copy for your records since this attempt at resolution will be important for a possible lawsuit in the future. 

DoNotPay Will Write a Harassment Cease and Desist Letter for You!

Fox details how DoNotPay makes it easier to fight companies by suing them in small claims court

If writing is not your strong suit and you get easily confused by all the intricacies of the American legal system, you don’t have to give up on stopping your stalker or harasser. DoNotPay’s mission is to offer a streamlined and efficient way of dealing with different cases of harassment. 

Being abused by constant threats and intimidations, never-ending yet unwanted sexual advances, or a case of an unrelenting ex-partner can be exhausting and cause some serious damage to your well-being, including your emotional and mental health. DoNotPay understands well what it means when someone is harassing you. Since a cease and desist letter is a highly efficient way to deal with this problem, DoNotPay has created a new feature to do it instead of you, if needed. 

The process is super simple:

  1. Sign up and log into DoNotPay via your web browser or with our iPhone app
  2. Hit Relationship Protection
  3. Start a chat with our chatbot
  4. Pick Safety and Stalking when prompted
  5. Finish the conversation by answering all of the chatbot’s questions and feel free to include all details you find important for your case

Based on your interaction with the chatbot, DoNotPay will create a cease and desist letter for your specific situation so you don’t have to bother with legal terminology and worry whether you included everything necessary. In case you experience harassment online, DoNotPay will contact the appropriate social media representatives, so that they can block and report the perpetrator.  

How Else Can DoNotPay Help You?

DoNotPay’s help doesn’t stop with stalkers and harassers of different sorts. There is a lot more we can do for you. Many people waste loads of time and energy on various legal and administrative issues that plague their lives daily. DoNotPay can be your shortcut through those troubles. The best part is that you don’t have to go anywhere to find justice or right some wrongs. Stay at home, prepare your favorite drink, sit in your favorite chair, and with just a few clicks, fix issues that have been bothering you for days and months, years even!

Create a profile on DoNotPay’s website in your web browser or via the iPhone app, and start clearing up some of those obstacles right away. Here are some examples of what else DoNotPay can do for you: