To ‘cease’ is to stop an activity. The same definition is afforded to the term ‘desist,’ too. Telling a person to cease and desist is more than just empty words, when done so in a letter, it’s a cautionary notice and a legally enforceable order.
Want to know more about cease and desist letters? Find out with the trusted Gold Coast lawyers at Crest Lawyers below.
Defining cease and desist letters
You might have heard the term ‘cease and desist’, but do you really know what it entails? The legal term for a cease and desist letter is this – a letter sent to a person or persons who you believe to be partaking in activity that they shouldn’t be partaking in. Typically, these letters are sent (by anyone, it doesn’t have to be a lawyer), as it represents a breach of contract, infringement or some other matter. More often than not they’re focused on defamation.
Understanding the purpose of a cease and desist letter
There’s three main intentions and purposes served by these letters.
What are they?
- Alerting the defaulting party to the breach
- Addressing the requirement for the defaulting party to cease and desist the activity that is in breach
- Making the other party aware of prospected legal proceedings, including a damages claim.
Common circumstances where cease and desist letters are employed
If you strongly believe any of the below has occurred to you or your business, a cease and desist letter drafted up by a commercial litigation lawyer will likely be warranted.
What are these circumstances?
- Former employees and/or business partners breaching the “protection of goodwill/restraint of trade” contractual obligations (breach of contract)
- Persons engaging in harassing, intimidatory behaviour (harassment)
- Persons engaging in defamatory conduct (defamation)
- Trademark, copyright or patent infringement.
Can anybody create and send a cease and desist letter?
Technically anybody can send a cease and desist letter. However, that doesn’t mean ‘anybody’ should.
As cease and desist letters are commonly a predecessor to legal proceedings, it’s very wise to trust in a lawyer to draft them. This is because in some cases they prove to be an important piece of evidence in these said legal proceedings.
Will a cease and desist letter be made public?
Yes – if one or both parties decide to make the letter public, there’s often no real legal obstruction to do so. Also, if legal proceedings do result, in due course, the cease and desist letter will become a part of public record.
What to do if you receive a cease and desist letter
If you yourself receive a cease and desist letter – it doesn’t always mean that you have engaged in the alleged conduct. However, it’s not a letter to be taken lightly, either.
Because failure to address the issues raised could most definitely result in subsequent legal proceedings against you. Seek legal advice from Gold Coast lawyers you can trust for commercial litigation and defamation matters.
Need help with commercial litigation or defamation Contact Crest Lawyers, your local Gold Coast lawyer team for expert legal solutions to suit you specific needs.
Disclaimer: The content contained in this news post is general in nature and is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.