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  1. Hello,

    I am in need of some legal advice as far as a cease and desist letter goes. I was trying to have one written and sent to my former employer who terminated me over false statements that my ex co-workers gathered up and told them. This act was retaliation of when I told the Group Manager about illegal things that they were doing on the job. I am currently out of work due to this conflict that wasn’t my fault while they are still employed and now I am assuming that I cannot seek employment with my former employer stating that the reason for separation was due to misconduct or inappropriate conduct on the job, which is absolutely false and they have no security footage or tape recordings of me doing these acts that this group of employees said that I did. They terminated me over hear say. Now, I cannot get a job because of this. I want them to stop releasing this false reason for separation to employers so that I can seek employment. I have a daughter to raise, I have a disability and I need to work before me and my daughter become homeless. Is there anyway that you can help or give some kind of advice??

  2. Aniktra:

    Your situation is more complex than can be handled on a blog. You should contact an attorney immediately. You are welcome to contact my office.


  3. Hi,
    I run a small game console and iphone/ Apple computer repair business. One of my advertising strategies is to post ads on Craigslist. Problem is one of my competitors keeps flagging us and anyone else not them on Craigslist. I know 100% it is them flagging me and was wondering if this is considered harassment and something I can send a cease and desist letter for. Further if they dont stop if I can take them to court for it.

  4. Joshua:

    It may not be harassment, but it is illegal. I would want to talk with you further about the details before recommending a cease and desist letter as the best approach, but sending a cease and desist letter is certainly one option.


  5. Hey Aaron,

    How well are you at handling matters of intellectual property?



  6. Jarrod:

    I have significant experience in intellectual property matters. You are welcome to contact my office if you would like to discuss your matter privately.


  7. Hi Aaron,

    I am a freelance video editor. I recently ended a relatively short-term working relationship with my employer because of her hostile and aggressive attitude. I sent her a hard drive containing every file that she gave me to work with, along with a check for the total amount that she paid me to work for her (as she demanded I do in an email). I was hesitant to also hand over the editing project file containing my work, since she asked for all her money back, but I ultimately decided to send that as well in order to make her harassment stop.

    She has left me more than 25 threatening emails, text messages and voicemail. She continues to contact me, as well as my employer (who recommended me) and his assistant, harassing and threatening them too. She is angry that because of my walking away from the project, she has lost valuable time and the support of one of her potential producers.

    I am the 5th editor to walk away from this project.

    I want to send her a cease and desist letter, ordering her to stop contacting me. I cannot afford to hire an attorney, so I have drafted one myself, based on online templates. I realize that cease and desist orders carry more weight when sent by a lawyer, but I have heard anyone can send one.

    Is that correct, and do you have any advice as I move forward?



  8. Lee:

    Yes, anyone can send a cease and desist letter, but it has more weight when sent from a law firm because a letter from a law firm communicates that (1) the sender is very serious about taking legal action if the illegal conduct does not stop and (2) an attorney has determined that the conduct is illegal.

    I would hesitate to give any advice regarding your situation without knowing all the details, so the only advice would be to see an attorney if the problem gets serious enough to justify the cost of an attorney.


  9. Aaron:

    We are a web design firm with a client who’s .com domain name expired, and was snatched up by the very people it was registered with – GoDaddy, Inc. – to be used abusively for advertising purposes. The client is a reputable freelance marketing rep and GoDaddy has taken this .com name and turned it into a “Get a free {something you’ll never actually get} site” with scam offers and the like. We suspect it’s outsourced for this advertising income.

    We believe their misuse is a defamation of character. Would you recommend sending a C&D for this? Does she reserve any rights here? To add to the mix, GoDaddy (as well as our business) is in the USA, and the client is in Canada. Additionally, none of us are in MN – we are in West Virginia and GoDaddy is in Arizona.

    What would you advise for this? Is this something your office would be able to look into? Very good information here in this post, we may be referencing it to draft up a letter.

  10. James:

    As you know, this situation is complex and there are many issues and aspects to analyze. It would probably be best for your client to contact an attorney in West Virginia, since that is where GoDaddy is located, to analyze the best course of action.


  11. I have someone publishing a commercial and flyer with my name and face in the advertising I do not want this to happen is there any way I can file a cease and desist letter

  12. Amber:

    The crucial question would be whether their use of your image is lawful. The commercial use of someone’s image is a tricky area of law. If you are concerned about it, I recommend you see an attorney to analyze the circumstances.


  13. Aaron,

    I recently refused to sell part of my property to my neighbor and since then, he has been distributing letters throughout the community with false and demeaning information about my wife and I as well as my parents. We have always been respected within our community and my wife is co-owner of a business within the area as well and now people are avoiding us and talking about this letter. I was never provided a copy of the letter by the neighbor, only through those which have received it. Is there any action which can be taken against this person?

  14. Boyd:

    You could sue for defamation or have an attorney send a cease and desist letter.


  15. I own a company in Mexico selling natural supplements on the Internet. Another company is advertising in the same exact places and copied all of our business. The problem is that they never send a product and it is a clear fraud. The police here are very slow to do anything. Being that they use many services in the united states to advertise, take phone calls etc. Can I send a cease and desist to the companies in the united states to make them stop offering their services to this fraud? Thank you.

  16. July:

    A cease and desist letter is usually sent to a party engaging in an illegal act, directing that party to cease and desist the illegal act. However, a cease and desist letter could be sent to an accomplice, who may be unknowingly aiding or abetting the illegal act.

    If you put statements in a letter, be sure the statements are true. False statements put you at risk of defamation. However, truth is a valid defense to defamation.


  17. hello . . . I have a creditor that has been showing up at my work causing a scene demanding payment on a payday loan . . . as well escalating repeatedly on cell and work numbers harassing me at work . . . can they do this?

  18. Debbie:

    This sounds like a violation of the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but I would need to know more to say conclusively. A cease and desist letter regarding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations would be an appropriate response.


  19. Hello, I am the owner of a small executive training firm. An ex-employee of has published posts on a industry related web site stating that one of the partners has false credentials, that we are conducting illegal activities. Of course this is untrue. We are a small reputable company and we feel we cannot ignore this. Additionally, he has put first and last names of employees on the site with false and libelous statements about them. We have contacted the site that these posts appear but they have ignored our requests to have the posts removed. We are unsure of the whereabouts of the ex-employee(city , state, address).
    Would a cease and desist letter to the owner of this website be appropriate in this situation ?

  20. Howard:

    A cease and desist letter is an appropriate first step. If that doesn’t work, legal action may be necessary.


  21. Aaron,
    a website has published private information about me, and is offering access to more in depth information about me for a fee. The company is US based, and I have decided that it is in my best interest to pursue legal remedies including but not limited to an injunction to take take down the website from (a) the internet service provider and (b) the company of which distributes, publishes, and extorts my information on the internet.

  22. Hello, I would like to know if I can send out a cease and desist for work that was never paid…


  23. CT Power:

    A cease and desist letter would not be appropriate for a demand for payment. A letter demanding payment would raise the legal basis for the demand and require payment within a certain number of days, which would depend on the law or contract involved.


  24. I used to own a company employing 8. Closed the doors a year and a half ago. One of my ex employees is now using my old company name to advertise. Also on a forum regarding our business, she is saying things about me, the business, how I ran it that are less than flattering and not true. I no longer have the business, but am well respected and working independent in this industry still.
    What do I do?
    Cease and desist letter or something else?
    Thanks so much.

  25. Hi Aaron,
    I recently filed for a Trademark that had been abandoned. The Trademark is successfully being processed in my name for my music band, with my information in the public view of that particular Trademark.

    My question is, there are a few bands out there with the same name, in direct conflict with our Trademark. I assume that C&D is the best option to use for these other bands? Also, if they have websites where our Trademarked name is used, what are my rights there? (an example would be through a music specific site, like – that URL should legally belong to us because they are a band and thats a direct violation, correct?)

    This is all in the name of being able to consistently promote our music as a business. We do not want people searching our band name and finding anyone besides us. Im sure that is understandable.

    It should also be noted that we currently do not have the means to pay a music attorney, as they are few and far between (which means its expensive).

    Thanks so much for your time.


  26. Bryan:

    As a general rule, someone who registers a trademark (like you) cannot prohibit others from continuing to use the mark in the same geographic area and industry they have been using it before the registration. The reason is, even though they did not register the mark, they have a common law trademark that preserves their right to continued use. This applies to URLs as well.


  27. Hello Aaron,

    My friend is a graphic designer in California and she was contracted by a company to create a flyer and other materials. She performed the work and was paid; however, now she has found her work on another graphic designers website and he is claiming it as his own, using it as an example of his work to strum up business. Would it be appropriate for her to send a cease and desist letter and demand that this man discontinue using her work as his own? Thank you in advance for your help.


  28. Kelly:

    Yes, a cease and desist letter would be appropriate under these circumstances.


  29. Hi Aaron,

    About a year ago I started a graphic design business with a partner, and it has since become successful. I recently searched our business name on Google, and another graphic design business with exactly the same name, and located in the same state came up. These people did not have a .com address (it was a WordPress url), nor were they listed as a registered business in my state. I don’t know how long they have been operating for, but what are my rights? Technically they do not have there name or business registered in the state and my company IS registered under that name.

    Thanks so much!,
    Paul S.

  30. Paul:

    Owning a .com or registering a business with the Secretary of State does not give you trademark rights. Trademark rights are established by using a mark in commerce (advertising, having sales, etc.). Thus, the question is whether you or the competitor used your business name in commerce first. Whoever used the business name in commerce in a geographic area first has the common law trademark rights to that name in that geographic area.


  31. hi-i have my business name trademarked. Another business with a similar name (also trademarked, but under different categories from my type of business) just sent me a cease and desist letter giving me 14 days to stop using my registered name. Do I need to comply with the letter, or can I continue to use my trademarked name until a judge orders otherwise?

  32. Robin:

    You mentioned that you have your business name trademarked. That could mean that you have a

    • common law trademark,
    • registered trademark in your state,
    • federally registered trademark, or
    • trademark in some other jurisdiction

    The type of trademark you have will be an important factor in analyzing your situation. There will be a number of other important factors. The bottom line is that in a situation like this, you need to consult with a trademark attorney in your state to determine your legal rights and options. If you are in Minnesota, I would be happy to help you if you call our office and schedule an appointment (usual attorney rates apply).


  33. Hi,
    So I am a junior in college and until last year I was in an international sorority. I no longer am and my problem is that I am still getting billed from stuff after I was gone. I went to the girl in charge and she took some of the charges away and I paid what we agreed on. The thing is the website says I still owe money and the girl I talked to knows this so she made a note about it. My fear is that somewhere down the line someone will send me to collections because the website says I owe money. I was wondering if a cease and desist letter could be sent to the sorority to have them take down my account?

  34. Beth:

    Yes, a cease and desist letter is an appropriate way to handle inaccurate information posted on a website.


  35. We have been having a friend staying with us and we want to get him out of our house but we were told by our local sheriff that we have to have a cease and desist letter sent to him, how do i get the form that I need in order to get him out the legal way without getting myself in trouble with the law

  36. Nancy:

    A cease and desist letter is not the appropriate way to handle someone who won’t leave your home. You should simply tell the person to leave your home, and if the person won’t leave, tell law enforcement that the person is trespassing and you want the person removed.

    If law enforcement won’t enforce the law, then you can seek a court order, but that seems unnecessary and expensive.


  37. During 2007, photographic images were taken by by me as request for a statue (without compensation) – Images were (without permission or payment) altered and enlarged to be used in public domain as a fund raiser for the statue project.

    Seeking the removal of intellectual property and compensation for use of said images since 2007.

  38. Kevin:

    Yes, you could use a cease and desist letter as a first step to seeking an end to the unlawful use of your copyrighted images.


  39. Aaron,
    My parents are getting a divorce. I am an adult, living with my father. When I was out having dinner with my mother, he stole all my gold and diamond jewelry and refuses to give it back. My uncle lives two doors down, so he probably put it all there. What can I do to make him give my jewelry back? I don’t want to be involved in the divorce, but he keeps dragging me into the middle of the situation. My uncles are also pressuring him to kick me out of the house. I don’t pay rent in money, but I contribute to landscaping, groceries, having a patio built, things like that. When I confronted him about the jewelry, he threatened my clothes, shoes and handbags were next. Help!

  40. Sarah:

    This problem goes beyond a cease and desist letter. You are welcome to contact my office or another attorney to assist you with this situation.


  41. I am on the board of directors of a non profit. A former employee left and is spreading rumors and has taken several paying clients from the non profit (we have programs and classes for kids and adults).

    This has been over a 6 month period and it seems to be getting worse. Should we send a cease and desist letter? Can we do that without naming or “outing” the sources who have told us about what she is saying?

  42. Ruth:

    Yes, a cease and desist letter is certainly an available option for your situation. Whether it is the best strategy is another question, but that would require a compete analysis of the situation.

    You do not need to name or “out” your sources in your cease and desist letter.


  43. A former employee, who worked on landscape designs while she was working for us, started to consult with another company and began referring work to them. They were using an image on their website from a project that our company did while she was working for us. We notified them and they took the image down. However, she is still using images of projects that she worked on during her employment at our company on her own website and not giving credit to our company. Our competitor company strongly promotes her, even though she is not technically their employee. Would a C&D be appropriate in this situation?

  44. Grant:

    Yes, a cease and desist letter would be an appropriate first step in this situation.


  45. Aaron; my sister has accused me and my deceased Father of sexual abuse which allegedly occurred 50 years ago, she never me about this allegation until 4 years ago, she recently told her Son, my nephew, who told his wife who told, on and on, I vehemently deny this ridiculous allegation, however, I am a public figure and I’m afraid my reputation has been damaged as well as my relationship with some members of my family; can I send a cease and desist letter? If so, what type of attorney should I seek?

  46. Jerry:

    To answer your question, it might help to provide an overview of the effect of a cease and desist letter. A cease and desist letter is merely a letter. Its only legal effect is putting a party on notice. It also has a practical effect of trying to resolve a conflict. However, there may be a better way to resolve many conflicts besides a cease and desist letter. Thus, the question in each situation is this: what will likely be the most effective way to resolve this conflict?

    With family members, a cease and desist letter may do more harm than good because a cease and desist letter can be perceived as harsh and formal.

    You asked about what type of attorney to seek. There aren’t many attorneys specializing in defamatory allegations of sexual abuse. However, you might consider either a family law attorney (experienced in allegations within a family) or business attorney (experienced with defamation).


  47. Hi Aaron,
    Could you tell me if a C&D is an appropriate action for this situation?
    I have an established website ( and an LLC with a DBA filed for SaratogaMama. Another website called has started up and I am concerned about our names being too similar. Is there anything I can do in this situation? Thanks in advance!

  48. Aaron; was wondering if you received my question regarding allegations of sexual abuse within family and if a cease and desist letter is warranted?

  49. Hi Aaron,

    I do not live in Minnesota, but I am interested and finding out more information on a cease and desist order and how it pertains to non-pornographic images of a minor? My son is 9 months old and my sister-in-law has continuously posted pictures of our son on her Facebook after we have asked her not to, we do not want any pictures of him on Facebook. I feel as his parents we have the right to decide if, when and where are son’s pictures are used. Would a cease and desist letter be applicable in this situation?

    Thank you,

  50. Misty:

    Yes, a cease and desist letter is a good first step in this situation. In fact, a cease and desist letter is simply a written request that someone stop violating the law. So in any case where someone is violating a law (your legal rights), it is appropriate to do a cease and desist letter.


  51. Colleen:

    Yes, a C&D is appropriate for a trademark infringement claim like you have here.


  52. Hi Aaron,
    I +1’d this but I don’t see where to download it. Can you provide some instructions on the page as to how this works?

  53. I brought furniture from a furniture store last year, 3 weeks after I brought it, I got laid off from my job and since then, I have been telling the company to come and pick up the merchandise since I don’t have any income, well the company has been telling me per the agreement I will still owe them, which is find but if I’m saying to please come and pick up the merchandise, why yould you try to set up payment arrangmeents if I have no income and is living with someone? I called the company today to schedule a pick up and immdediately the lady raised her voicemail and told me that I shouldn’t have got the furniture if I didn’t have a job and that I needed to pay. Her manager got on the phone and said that I stoled the furniture and I told that I didn’t and people within the company had been emailing me but I’ve been responding to them with new contact information and everything but still, the merchandise was never pick up. I also called them as well. the advise me that collection activity will continue but because of that conversation with the employer and their manager did not go well. I don’t want them contacting me at all. Is sending them a cease and desist letter ok? Thanks

  54. Dear Sir/s

    I live in the UK and I should be most grateful if you could please let me have a template for slander/libel.

    Many thanks

  55. Joshua

    Under United Kingdom law, there are two scenarios.

    First, if this person had the intention of depriving you permanently of your property (money) then he/she is guilty of the Theft Act 1968 (in the U.K.). However, it is very difficult to prove the “intention”.

    Second, this is unjust enrichment. You will have to prove that by your work, they have befitted and therefore you are entitled to receive the benefit. Breach of Contract can also play a part,but, you will have to prove that there was a contract to begin with.

  56. Tea:

    The purpose of a cease and desist letter is to warn someone to stop illegal conduct. In general, there is nothing illegal about a creditor contacting a debtor about collecting on a debt. If collection efforts qualify as harassment under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), you should log the phone calls, keep the letters, save all evidence of the harassment, and contact a FDCPA lawyer.

    Our firm would be happy to help with FDCPA violations, and for these cases, we work on contingency, so we don’t get paid unless we get money for you.


  57. I would like an attorney to prepare a cease and desist letter for stalking, harassment, slander and libel.

  58. Hi Aaron,

    I’ve recently found out that a website has been posting my information and most importantly my image without my permission. When my peers have asked for their information to be removed, they have complied, but they have failed to do so for me, despite my requesting three times. What further action can I take?

  59. Andressa:

    You can have an attorney send a cease and desist letter with a demand that the personal information and image be taken down.


  60. If the addressee of a C&D, complies; is it customary to also expect to request a settlement out of court? Or is the norm to be satisfied the infringement work has been taken off a website?

  61. Eric:

    Usually, compliance with a cease and desist letter is sufficient. However, if there are damages, some sort of settlement payment may be negotiated between the parties to avoid litigation.


  62. for example i in another country and I was misled into paying for a greencardlottery, to a company in nevada reno and i later found out that it was a sham and i demanded for a full refund, at first they refiused but when i threatned to sue they obliged to pay some out of the initial sum as refund, please how do i go about this ? i even reported them to the BBB and nothing as been can i get a lawyer to sue them as all efforts have been fraustrating.please reply asap

  63. Hi there…I was wondering what could be done if a previous sub contractor that quit doing work for our Company because of a dispute is now using our projects that were designed by and paid for by our firm he was just a laborer but is posting our projects on his business cards and also his portfolio…can we send a cease and desist letter. He is portraying these are his projects and they are not…

  64. Ralph:

    You are a victim of fraud. I would recommend contacting law enforcement or hiring an attorney (which won’t be cheap).


  65. I need to take back my finances from the Veterans Admin. they assigned me a fiduciary without due process

  66. A friend of mine is a musician not signed to any record label, and producing & marketing her own albums. Recently she found that a company in Canada is giving away her copywrited work without her permission. So far she has located at least 10 of her songs on the site. She has attempted to call and write to them several times with no response. Attorneys specialized in this field have asked for tens of thousands up front before taking the case, which as an independent artist she does not have. As she is in the US and the offending company is in Canada, what recourse does she have at this point? Will a C&D demand still be appropriate in this case?

  67. J.A.

    A cease and desist letter is normally the best first step. Whether it will be effective depends on how the recipient decides to respond.

    If you find an experienced copyright litigation attorney at a small law firm located near the company (defendant), you should be able to get a lawsuit started for much less than $10,000.


  68. Hi there, thank you for this extremely informative blog!

    I run a small business manufacturing packaged goods. We paid for some boxes to be created a couple of years ago, however the manufacturer could not meet the quality we required so we discontinued the project and they happily refunded our money.

    Now however, we find they are using photos of the ‘discarded’ boxes on their online portfolio (suggesting we use them as our supplier) and to top it off, they’ve created and photographed some brand new artwork we’ve never seen before – using OUR business name, logo and product name!

    Several times we have asked them to remove these items from their portfolio. They mentioned they would do so, eventually, however months have gone by and they’ve not done anything. And as of now, they’re not responding to my follow-up emails either.

    Is it time to send a cease and desist?

    If so, what is the cost involved in doing so?

    Thank you so much,

  69. Deanna:

    Yes, a cease and desist letter is the appropriate next step. Alternatively, you might consider a lawsuit for a violation of the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act among other things.

    I would be glad to partner with you on this (usual attorney rates apply). In general, the fee for a cease and desist letter is $500, and the fee to begin a lawsuit is $1,000.


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