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How To Serve & Respond To A Cease & Desist Letter In Florida

Cease and desist letter FloridaA cease and desist letter Florida is a common legal document that parties use to notify others of their rights and demand an end to any infringing conduct. Whether creating or responding to a cease and desist letter, obtaining legal representation can help with effective resolution of a dispute and inform parties of their rights in these situations. 

This article further explains the purpose of cease and desist letters, how they differ from cease and desist orders, and other information about sending and responding to letters.

What Is a Cease and Desist Letter?

A Florida cease and desist letter is a written document from one party to another that demands the offending party discontinue a particular action because it violates the legal rights of the sending party. A cease and desist letter may also be known as the following types of documents depending on the situation: 

  • Cease and desist notice (parties may use the word “notice” to indicate the use of legal procedures under a contract or statute)
  • Stop harassment letter (for behavior such as excessive or unwanted contact of a physical or verbal nature)
  • Demand letter (may contain demands in addition to stopping certain behavior such as payment of damages or settlement demand)
  • No contact letter (a letter requesting the infringer stop direct contact with the sending party and might contain instructions for using attorneys for future communication)

Valid Reasons to Use a Cease and Desist Order in Florida 

You might find the need for a cease and desist letter Florida or one of its variations (e.g., demand letter) in a variety of personal and business settings. A list of common examples where these legal documents become helpful might include: 

  • defamation (i.e., verbal or written statements made about a party that untrue and harm that party’s reputation. 
  • Violations of intellectual property rights (e.g., copyright infringement, patent infringement, trademark infringement, etc.)
  • breach of contract 
  • debt collection
  • Other legal proceedings 

Is a Cease and Desist Order the Same as a Cease and Desist Letter? 

No, a cease and desist order is not the same as a cease and desist letter. The key difference between the two legal documents is the authority they have. A cease and desist order is a judgment from a court after a legal proceeding (e.g., a restraining order or a temporary injunction) that is enforceable through a government agency. 

A cease and desist letter, in contrast, is a more private legal action often executed through legal representation by a law firm or business lawyer. A party may send a cease and desist letter to an offending party as a precursor to formal litigation or as a method of preserving rights under a contract or other law. 

Is a Cease and Desist Letter Enforceable? 

A cease and desist letter by itself won’t generally have any enforcement powers through a government agency. However, the underlying reasons for the letter will involve enforceable legal rights. If you have questions about the enforceability of the demands in a cease and desist letter, you should obtain legal advice from a lawyer knowledgeable in the relevant area of law.

How to Serve a Cease and Desist Letter

Today, many options exist for serving a cease and desist letter Florida such as mail, personal delivery, email, fax, etc. The next section will discuss elements for how to write a cease and desist letter. 

Generally, the letter must be sent to the formal address of the infringer (e.g., a primary residence, P.O. Box, or registered business address). Sometimes you can also serve the registered agent of the infringer (often a representative of a business). 

Depending on the scope of the letter and requirements under the law, you may need to use a variety of methods to ensure proper service of the letter. Your business lawyer can provide better legal advice on the steps necessary for serving a cease and desist letter. In many cases, using a professional service agency is preferable to obtain evidentiary items like a return receipt.

Example: How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter for Harassment

Every cease and desist letter will require careful consideration of the law and other business and political dynamics in addition to the relevant facts. Some general principles for a cease and desist letter involving personal harassment might include: 

  • Clear identification of the injured party and the offending party
  • A general statement of the harassing behavior
  • A statement of what you would like the infringer to do in order to end the harassing behavior
  • A statement of the sending party’s rights and the potential for further legal proceedings if the harassment does not end. 

Do You Need an Attorney to Create a Cease and Desist Letter?

Although not technically required, working with an attorney to draft a cease and desist letter can be beneficial for several reasons. An attorney can more clearly state the legal rights and procedures involved. An attorney can help you avoid illegal practices and other pitfalls that can arise when sending letters to an adverse party. 

Responding to Cease and Desist Letters

Similar to creating a cease and desist letter, responding to one through legal representation can be more preferable. Depending on the circumstances, the merits of a cease and desist letter could be weak or involve unreasonable demands. Legal advice from a lawyer in these situations can help you better evaluate the risks and potential consequences from failure to comply with cease and desist.

Need Help Responding to, or Sending a Florida Cease and Desist Order? 

A cease and desist letter can be a valuable tool for protecting your rights and avoiding further conflict that requires litigation. The business lawyers at Cueto Law Group understand the nuances of difficult exchanges between parties that involve cease and desist letters and subsequent legal proceedings. 

Contact Cueto Law Group today to schedule a consultation regarding the review or preparation of a Florida cease and desist letter.

FAQs

Is a Cease and Desist Email Acceptable, or Must It Be a Physical Letter?

The answer depends on the nature of the conduct a party is hoping to end and the relevant law (e.g., underlying contracts, statutes, or other Florida law). In any case, using email and a physical letter might be the best practice for properly reserving the harmed party’s rights.

How Long Does a Cease and Desist Order Last?

A cease and desist order can vary in length from temporary (e.g., a few months or years) to an indefinite period. The length will often depend on the type of conduct involved and the rights of the party seeking the order. For example, a restraining order could be indefinite where as a temporary injunction might only last until the conclusion of a legal proceeding.

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Cueto Law Group, P.L.

Based out of Miami, Cueto Law Group offers an extensive range of legal and business counsel to individuals, entrepreneurs, and corporations.

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