A cease and desist letter is issued to a party that is in violation of the law. It is a written letter that can also be issued when a person is suffering from harassment caused by the actions of another party including personal attacks, comments, or false remarks. Harassment happens when one person intentionally takes unwanted or uninvited actions to cause distress or alarm to another. The letter may be sent to any individual or business entity that is causing harassment. These letters are one of the ways through which the sufferer can protect him or herself from the perpetrator.
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A harassment cease and desist letter is a document issued by the victim to the harassing party stating that legal action will be taken against them if they do not stop their offending acts or continue to harass the victim. In recent times, trolls, fake news, and sexual harassment have become a common phenomenon on social media. This document can help the victim to take action in different situations including harassment at the workplace and on social media.
Through this cease and desist letter template, the sender should formally request the offending party to stop the harassing behavior. If the offender does not respond to the letter and continues to harass the sender, they may seek stronger remedies like filing a civil suit. The court may decide to issue a cease and desist order against the offender and the same shall be legally binding and enforceable against offender. While dealing with the issue of damages, the court may rely upon the evidence provided by the parties. In this case, a cease and desist letter can be a crucial piece of evidence.
A cease and desist letter can be issued to a party as a final warning before filing a lawsuit. It is an effective way of dealing with harassment cases without involving the court. Some cases in which a cease and desist letter can be used are listed below:
Harassment in the workplace is common and affects the life of many people. As per the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), over 7,500 sexual harassment claims were filed with the EEOC in FY 2018. A cease and desist letter can be issued if a person has suffered from harassment at the workplace. If the harassment is taking place within a company, business, or organization, the letter should be sent to the person causing the harassment and to the manager as well.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires debt collectors to stop contacting the debtor on a formal request made by them. However, the same order must be made in writing. The collectors are required by law to stop harassing the debtor. In such cases, the debtor can pursue legal action if the collector continues to contact them.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, roughly 40% of adults in the United States have personally experienced online trolling. If a person has suffered online harassment on a social media website, for instance trolling, intimidating tactics or comments, or stalking, they can send a cease and desist letter to the inbox of the harasser and also notify the social networking company about the harasser’s illegal behavior.
Other and more serious forms of harassment may include infringement of intellectual property rights (trademark, copyright, patents, or design), property boundary encroachment, parking space encroachment, trespass, or invasion of privacy.
The following information should be included in cease and desist letters for harassment:
The cease and desist letter should include the relevant details of the parties including their full names and addresses.
The cease and desist letter should inform the other party of its offending behavior and the harassment caused by the same. This may include false accusations or statements made by the recipient regarding the sender’s character, inappropriate phone calls, or any other form of harassment. It should also include where and when the offending behavior occurred. The document should further specify the harm caused by the offending behavior to the sender including the physical, monetary, mental, or emotional trauma.
The cease and desist letter should issue a warning to the recipient to stop harassing the sender, else legal repercussions might follow. The sender may file a civil action through a lawyer against the recipient if he or she fails to respond or act upon the letter. The sender may take legal action by filing a defamation suit through a law firm. An attorney can provide legal advice on all possible remedies available to the victim.
Finally, it should provide a deadline or a fixed date to the recipient by which the sender’s demands should be complied with. This will serve as a final notice to the recipient. If the sender does not receive a response from the recipient by this time, he or she may initiate the above-mentioned legal action against the recipient.
The letter should be sent by certified mail with a return receipt. This way, the sender will have evidence that the letter was received by the recipient.
FormasPal’s easy to use and understand harassment cease and desist letter can be filled out by following these simple steps:
Step 1. Mention the Details of the Parties
At the topmost part of the document, mention the details of the parties, write the sender’s name in front of “from” and write the recipient’s name in front of “to.” Mention the date on which the letter will be sent. Select the mode of delivery by ticking the applicable boxes.
Step 2. Describe the Unwanted Behavior
In the blank lines provided in the document, describe the unwanted behavior of the recipient. It should also specify the type or harm caused to the sender.
Step 3. Specify the Damages
After describing the harassing behavior, select the type of damages that you might claim in your legal action through a lawyer.
Step 4. Specify the Deadline
In the blank space provided in the last paragraph on the first page of the document, mention the number of days within which the offender should respond to your letter and stop the harassing behavior.
Step 5. Provide a Deadline
This part of the document should provide a deadline for the recipient to meet the demands. This is the final notice given to the recipient before the sender may file a civil suit against them.
Step 6. Mention the Sender’s Name
At the end of the document, mention the sender’s full name and address.
A sample harassment cease and desist letter is provided below:
From: Ms. Jenna Goldberg
By: ☐ Certified Mail ☐ Email ☐ Other
To: Mr. John Phillip
RE: CEASE AND DESIST FOR HARASSMENT
Dear Mr. Phillip,
This letter serves as a formal notice to you to immediately cease and desist from engaging in the following unwanted, unwelcome, and uninvited behavior(s):
The harassment(s) not only annoys, but also threatens or intimidates me; it has become unbearable. Accordingly, I am prepared to file a civil lawsuit against you, seeking:
Notwithstanding the foregoing, I will allow you time to make amends for your wrongdoing. You now have 7 (seven) days to acknowledge receipt of this letter and undertake to stop all forms of harassment toward me.
This is my final notice to you before I take further legal action against you. It is in your best interest to give your utmost attention to this matter.
Ms. Jenna Goldberg