If a person or company is defaming you with false statements, use a cease and desist defamation letter to demand that they stop immediately.
Below, we provide a strongly worded template to help you make a powerful demand. The letter argues that their false statements have harmed your character, reputation, trade, profession, or business, and that you may take legal action if they don’t stop.
We provide blanks for you to easily fill in the critical information to make your letter effective, including:
- False Claims or Statements: What the offending party said or wrote about you or your business that is false
- Communication Method: How the false claims or statements were “published” (e.g., in a newspaper, or told to someone else)
- Damages: How the false claims or statements impacted you personally
- Demands: The actions you’d like the offender to take to remedy the situation
After receiving the defamation letter, the violating party must immediately stop making such false statements, and remove all false statements from any websites or forum posts.
Is a Cease and Desist Defamation Letter Legally Enforceable?
No, a cease and desist defamation letter isn’t legally enforceable. The letter’s sole purpose is to provide a warning to the offender that if they don’t stop defaming you that you may take legal action. Ideally, the letter will intimidate them into stopping their behavior before you have to take legal action, saving you time, money, and stress.
What if My Letter Is Ignored?
If your letter is ignored, you can take further steps and sue the offender for defamation. Depending on the state you live in, the law may recognize up to two types of defamation: written false statements (libel) or spoken false statements (slander).
Defamation requires that false statements be “published” or made known to a third person, either verbally or in writing. False statements are considered “defamation per se” (meaning that you don’t have to prove damages) if they allege that someone:
- committed a crime,
- has a “loathsome or contagious disease”,
- engaged in sexual misconduct, or
- did something unfit for their business, trade, or profession.
To successfully make a defamation claim, you must show the following four things:
- A false statement claiming to be fact
- Publication or communication to at least one third party
- Negligence by the publisher in publishing the false statement
- Damages or harm to the subject of the false statement