Understand your rights with this short guide

Rose Lawyers on 27 July 2018

A cease and desist letter (also known as a notice to stop letter, or a demand letter) is a legal document used to inform a person or party of your formal notice requesting them to stop a behaviour or activity that infringes on your legal rights.

In many cases, a cease and desist letter is the first step you will take when you want to stop an unwanted action. A cease and desist letter most often has a warning included that lets the other party know that you may take legal action if they do not 'cease and desist' whatever they are doing.

If you are experiencing activities that you believe to be infringing on your personal or business rights, get in touch with Rose Law on 03 9878 5222 for a complimentary 15 minute discussion about how you can take action to stop this behaviour.

When do you need a cease and desist letter?

There is a range of situations in which a cease and desist letter can be used. You can use a cease and desist letter as an individual, and businesses can also use cease and desist letters. Some of the common situations in which one can be used include:

  • Trademark or copyright infringement

  • General personal harassment, intimidation or stalking

  • Defamation

  • Circumstances when your rights are being infringed generally

  • Persons breaching a restraint of trade obligation

It can often be difficult to talk to someone if you are being harassed or defamed. A cease and desist letter can be a simple way to let someone know that their behaviour is infringing on your rights and that legal action may take place if they do not stop their actions.

In the case of business infringements, a cease and desist letter is a way to let another party know that their conduct is noted and that legal proceedings are the next step if they do not cease their actions.

cease and desist letter australia

What to include in a cease and desist letter in Australia

A simple cease and desist letter contains a range of standard features. These outline the identifying features of the parties involved and set out some guidelines. This includes:

  • The sender's details (this will be you, or the individual or business requesting that behaviour is stopped).

  • The recipient's details (the person or business being asked to cease behaviour).

  • A detailed description of the behaviour, as well as any of the negative effects the behaviour may have had.

  • A warning that legal action will be taken if the behaviour does not cease.

  • The deadline by which the behaviour has to stop.

Your cease and desist letter needs to needs to be detailed and include all the points listed above. Otherwise, a judge may find that your letter was insufficient if the matter goes to court.

You must also make sure that you send your cease and desist letter by registered mail to the person or business responsible for the offensive behaviour. That way, if the matter does end up in court it can be proven that the other party was notified. The registered post receipt will show exactly when the party was notified.

Will a cease and desist letter work?

A well written cease and desist letter, drafted and certified by a lawyer is a weighty document and one that the receiver will likely take seriously. Most people are aware of the cost and potential impact that legal action can take, and a cease and desist letter is often enough to stop the behaviour from further taking place.

  • If someone's conduct is infringing on your legal rights, a cease and desist letter may be just what you need to stop it from taking place.

  • A cease and desist letter is a legal document that can be a powerful and simple way to assert your rights in life and in business.

While there is no guarantee that behaviour will cease with the presentation of your letter, many individuals and companies will see the consequence of legal action far outweighs whatever they are doing.

two people discussing a cease and desist letter australia

Do I need a lawyer to create my cease and desist letter?

While you do not need a lawyer to write your cease and desist letter, it can be very helpful to consult with a lawyer as they can help you to understand the seriousness of your matter. Without legal advice, you might miss out on an area of law that is being breached, and you can also ensure that your cease and desist letter is accurate. Putting false information in a cease and desist letter can have serious negative consequences.

  • A lawyer can write a persuasive and legally accurate letter on your behalf.

  • Legal advice can help you to see whether a cease and desist letter is the best course of action, or whether another avenue might suit your matter better.

At Rose Law, we are committed to providing advice and guidance on how to approach conduct that infringes on your personal or professional rights. Contact us today on 03 9878 5222 or get in touch online for a complimentary consultation about writing a cease and desist letter in Australia.