Defamation (Slander) Cease and Desist Letter

A cease and desist defamation letter is issued when false claims are made against an individual, business, or company resulting in defamation. It is a notice given to the offender, demanding them to desist from continuing with the defamatory activity.

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What Is a Defamation Cease and Desist Letter?

A cease and desist letter template is used to bar the offending party from doing a certain defaming activity. A cease and desist defamation letter will demand that the offending party should stop the defamatory behavior immediately. It should mention the details of the false statements made by the recipient and should also inform the offending party that legal action will be taken against them if they continue to engage in such behavior. A cease and desist letter is also known as a violation letter, demand letter, or takedown letter.

The Reasons for Using the Letter

If someone’s reputation is hurt by a defamatory statement made by the offending party, they can sue them for defamation. However, litigation can be costly and time-consuming for the offender. Attorneys’ fee, court costs, and the risk of losing the case may persuade the offending party to stop making statements that cause harm to the reputation of an individual or company.

The tone of the letter should be threatening depending upon the severity of the damage caused by the false statements made by the recipient. A cease and desist letter is an effective way to deal with a defamation dispute without involving the court. The sender can also save a drastic amount of time and money that may be involved in court proceedings.

Main Types of Defamation

According to the law, if a person makes a false statement claiming something regarding another person or business entity, and if that false statement causes harm to the reputation of the other party, it is known as defamation. Generally, defamation can be classified as libel or slander. The law regarding defamation may vary in different states, but the main types of defamation include:

Per Quod

Here the defamation is not apparent on the face of it and the plaintiff has to prove actual damages.

Per Se

Here the defamation is widespread, damages are presumed and the plaintiff may not be required to prove special damages. It includes four subcategories:

  • Criminal Conduct- When someone is falsely labeled as a criminal.
  • Business- When the reputation of a business is harmed.
  • Lonesome Disease- Claiming that a person may have a lonesome disease, for example, HIV/AIDS.
  • Imputation of Unchastity- Claiming unjust sexual behavior including adultery or questioning one’s moral character.

Libel

Libel includes written false statements that may be made by a person in a newspaper, magazine, online website, or any other platform that may cause harm to an individual’s reputation. Any false statement that is written and published and causes harm to a person’s reputation shall fall under libel.

Slander

Slander includes false statements made by a person verbally, for example statements on television, radio, or any other public avenue that may damage an individual’s reputation.

The suffering person or business entity can seek compensation from the offender by filing a civil defamation claim. After a review of the case, the court may ask the offender to pay damages to the plaintiff and may also issue a cease and desist order. The tedious process of hiring an attorney and going through the court proceedings may be avoided by simply issuing a cease and desist letter to the offending party.

Components of a Defamation Cease and Desist Letter

Cease and desist letters for defamation, libel, or slander will include the following details and information:

Sender

The document will include the details of the sender including full name or the name of the business or company, address, and contact information.

Recipient

The document will also include the details of the recipient including full name or business name and address.

Details of the False Information

The document should include the details and description of the false statements made by the recipient orally or in writing. This section should also specify the date and place of the false statement made by the recipient. For instance, in the case of libel, if the comments were published in an online article, the letter should mention the details of the website and when the article was published.

Damage Caused by the Statement

The document should explain how the false statements made by the recipient have caused damage to the sender’s reputation, business, or profession. It should explain how the offender is responsible for the legal injury caused to the sender.

Sender’s Demands

The document should also specify the sender’s demands. It should state that the sender will file a civil defamation lawsuit against the recipient if they do not stop making and retract the false statement. Other demands may include tendering a written apology and correcting the false information.

Deadline

Finally, the document should provide a deadline to the recipient to comply with the sender’s demands. The specified time period or date will be the last opportunity provided to the sender to take corrective action. If the sender does not receive a response from the recipient during this time, they may initiate legal action against the recipient.

How to Fill Out the Defamation Cease and Desist Letter

FormsPal’s easy to use and understand defamation cease and desist letter can be filled out by following these simple steps:

Step 1. Mention the Details of the Parties

The details of the parties are to be mentioned at the topmost part of the document. Write the sender’s name and address respectively in front of “from” and recipient name and address in front of “to.” Enter the date and select the mode through which the letter will be sent.

Step 2. Mention the False Statements

Mention the false statements made by the recipient in the blank lines provided in the next part of the letter. Also mention where and how the statements were made.

Step 3. Explain Why the Statements Are Unfounded

Explain why the statements made by the recipient are unfounded in the blank spaces provided in the next part of the letter.

Step 4. State the Harm Caused

After explaining why the statements are unfounded, specify the type of harm caused to you by the false statements made by the recipient. The harm caused can be reputational, economical, or of any other type.

Step 5. Identify the Damages

In the next part of the letter, select the damages you intend to claim in the lawsuit you may file against the recipient.

Step 6. Provide a Deadline

In the next paragraph, write the number of days within which the corrective action should be taken by the offender between the words “have” and “days.” Then, also mention the places from where the objectionable material should be removed.

Step 7. Mention the Sender’s Name

In the end, enter the sender’s full name and address at the end of the letter.

Defamation Cease and Desist Letter Sample

From: Mr. John Hill

[Street Address]

[City][State][Zip]

Date: 06.14.2020

By: ☐ Certified Mail ☐ Email ☐ Other

To: Mr. Phil Smith

[Street Address]

[City][State][Zip]

Re: Cease and Desist for Defamation

Dear Mr. Smith,

This letter serves as a formal notice to you to immediately cease and desist from making defamatory statements(s) about me.

You have made the following statement(s) made in the Daily Newspaper which is/are untrue and/or misleading:

“Mr. John Hill is a man of questionable character who has deceived several of his clients by providing subpar raw material to them.”

The false statement(s) is unfounded for the following reasons:

I have always provided the promised quality of raw material to my clients and have never deceived them. You have not provided evidence to support your claim. Your written statement has questioned my character and has caused harm to my business reputation among my clients.

In light of the foregoing, I am prepared to file a civil lawsuit against you, seeking:

  • a restraining order/an injunction,
  • monetary compensation for losses and damages.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, I will allow you time to make amends for your wrongdoing. You now have 10 days to acknowledge receipt of this letter and undertake to remove all defamatory statement(s) from the Daily Newspaper as well as publish an apology.

This is my final notice to you before I take legal action against you. It is in your best interest to give your utmost attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Mr. John Hill

Published: Jul 7, 2021