Free Cease and Desist templates (Australia)

Use this advice to create a quick and simple Cease and Desist letter.

Cease and Desist Letter

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Legal documents can be tricky to get your head around, especially if you can't afford an in-house lawyer or hourly legal fees. We've put together a simple how-to for Cease and Desist letters in Australia, so you can write a letter to suit your situation.

What is a Cease and Desist letter?

A Cease and Desist letter is a formal request, sent to a business or individual that is partaking in unwanted or illegal behaviour. It is a simple letter asking them to stop and to no longer continue engaging in a certain activity.

cease and desist letter template from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use a Cease and Desist letter?

A Cease and Desist letter should be used as the first step to asking the recipient to stop a particular activity or risk legal action. Some of the most common ways a Cease and Desist letter is used is to stop the following:

  • Trademark and copyright infringement
  • Debt collectors
  • Harassment, stalking or invasion of privacy
  • Slander or false accusations
  • Breach of contract
  • Property boundary encroachment

What does a Cease and Desist letter include and not include?

What to include in a Cease and Desist letter

The most important thing to include in a Cease and Desist letter is a clear and concise description of the offending action taking place and a time frame for the recipient to remedy the situation. Secondly, it should make clear to the recipient that the goal of this letter is to stop the offender carrying out the action and stating that further legal action will be sought if it does not stop.

What not to include in a Cease and Desist letter.

A Cease and Desist letter should use neutral language, with no empty threats or threatening language. Remember, this is a gentle warning to the recipient, not a letter to threaten harsh legal action. Be sure not to include any vague language to make your intentions as clear as possible.

Cease and Desist letter vs Letter of Demand

Whereas a Cease and Desist letter requests that the recipient stop carrying out a certain action, a Letter of Demand is a formal notice that requests the recovery of debt. This can be in the form of goods, services or payment.

How effective is a Cease and Desist letter?

Although the recipient of a Cease and Desist letter is not under any legal obligation to comply with requests, these letters are taken seriously by most businesses and individuals. Cease and Desist letters sent by lawyers tend to carry more weight and often prove to be the most effective.

If the time frame in the letter has elapsed and appropriate actions have not been taken by the recipient, the sender is permitted to take further legal action, including sending further Cease and Desist letters, filing a lawsuit or filing a temporary restraining order.

Do I need a lawyer to send this document?

While having a lawyer draw up a Cease and Desist letter for you can be beneficial, you do not need a lawyer to send the letter. Anyone can send out a Cease and Desist letter at any time. You may want to consider having a lawyer suss out whether your letter has grounds for legal action or if you want to add weight to your letter in court.

Get access to customisable Cease and Desist letter templates online

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How do I write a Cease and Desist letter?

A Cease and Desist letter should be clear and concise. Using these guidelines and the sample below should put you in good stead for creating an effective letter.

Your Cease and Desist letter must include the following:

  • Your name and address.
  • The recipient's name and address.
  • A request for the recipient to stop the action.
  • A time frame for the action to cease.
  • Outline the next steps if the recipient does not fulfil the request within the time frame specified.

There are plenty of online resources available that provide Cease and Desist templates. Simply download the template, fill in the correct information for your case and send it on. Here's where to find them.

  • Lawpath. Lawpath is an online legal resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Users are welcome to browse free samples on its website but must sign-up to access customisation options.
  • LawDepot. LawDepot provides a broad array of free online documents to choose from. Easily fill them in online before downloading the documents straight to your computer.
  • LegalVision. LegalVision offers users unlimited use of legal document templates, including a Cease and Desist letter, for a monthly membership fee of $199.
  • Legal Zebra. Free PDF samples can be downloaded if you sign-up to Legal Zebra's marketing emails. To access customisable documents, the templates will need to be purchased for a one-time fee.
  • Wonder.Legal. Browse more than 140 legal document templates with Wonder.Legal, all of which can be purchased for a one-time fee. Although free to browse, downloading a Cease and Desist template currently costs $9.99.

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