Introduction: Cease & Desist Letter/Order for Harassment/Stalking - How to Stop Harassment

Picture of Cease & Desist Letter/Order for Harassment/Stalking - How to Stop Harassment

Please find below a sample Cease and Desist Letter/Order that can be used against a person or cult (ie: Opus Dei) when they are attempting to harass, stalk, pressure, and/or intimidate you. This document can be customized and modified in any way to suit a particular situation to which it is being applied. For example, the local harassment and stalking laws applicable to the country, province or state that you are in should replace the US laws listed below. Please feel free to have your legal counsel review it for further modifications.

When a person is getting aggressive and intimidating and refuses to back down, modify and mail the Cease and Desist letter below to get them to back down. It is key that a copy of the letter is kept along with with a record of delivery. This record is necessary to prove to the police that the person has been served a Cease and Desist Order should the person not back down after the Order has been sent. In the US, the letter can be sent via the US Postal Service's Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. Please note that it is suggested that you do not send the Order via Certified Mail/Return Receipt, since the person harassing you may refuse delivery of the Order. However, Priority Mail/Delivery Confirmation does not require a signature and cannot be refused. An alternative way is to send it via FedEx Ground if you are near a FedEx dropoff facility. Be sure to KEEP a copy of the letter and your record of Delivery Confirmation. In addition, you may want to send a copy to the local police precinct, via Delivery Confirmation, to alert them to the harassment you are receiving from certain elements.

Note too that this Order can also be used when an individual, like an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend or co-workers is harassing you and will not leave you alone. It is helpful in establishing an official set of documents that the person was warned that their actions were in violation of criminal laws.



Dear Sir or Madam:

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER is to inform you that your harassing and intimidating actions against me has become unbearable. Such anti-social behavior is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. This letter is to demand that your harassment and intimidation must CEASE AND DESIST immediately. Should you continue to pursue these activities in violation of this CEASE AND DESIST ORDER, we will not hesitate to pursue further legal action against you, including, but not limited to, civil action and/or criminal complaints.

[Insert specific harassment inicidents here. Be sure to include date and place of occurance]

Please note that I have a right to remain free from your intimidating tactics, and we will take the responsibility upon ourselves to protect that right. Note that a copy of this letter and a record of its delivery will be stored. Note too that it is admissible as evidence in a court of law and will be used as such if need be in the future.

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER demands that you immediately discontinue and do not at any point in the future under any circumstances do the following to me: speak to, contact, pursue, harass, attack, strike, bump into, brush up against, push, tap, grab, hold, threaten, telephone (via cellular or landline), instant message, page, fax, email, follow, stalk, shadow, disturb my peace, keep me under surveillance, gather information about and/or block my movements at home, work, social gatherings or religious functions.

[New York: Note that your behavior is a violation of New York State Penal Law Section 240.25 - Harassment in the First Degree, Section 240.26 - Harassment in the Second Degree, Section 240.30 - Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, Section 240.45 - Criminal Nuisance in the Second Degree, Section 120.45 - Stalking in the Fourth Degree, Section 120.50 - Stalking in the Third Degree, Section 120.55 - Stalking in the Second Degree, Section 120.60 - Stalking in the First Degree, Section 135.60 - Coercion in the Second Degree, Section 105.00 - Conspiracy in the Sixth Degree, Section 120.15 - Menacing in the Third Degree.]

[Connecticut: Sec. 53a-181c - 1992, Stalking in the first degree, Sec. 53a-181d - 1992, Stalking in the second degree, Sec. 53a-181e - 1995. Stalking in the third degree, § 53a-182b. Harassment in the first degree, 53a-183. Harassment in the second degree]

[New Jersey: Note that your behavior is a violation of New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice Title 2C:12-10 - Stalking, Title 2C:33-34 - Harassment.]

[Maryland: Note that your behavior is a violation of Maryland State Code Title 3, Subtitle 8, Section 3-802 - Stalking, Section 3-803 - Harassment, Section 3-804 - Misuse of Telephone Facilities, Section 3-805 - Misuse of Electronic Mail, Subtitle 9, Section 3-901 - Visual Surveillance, Section 3-902 - Visual Surveillance with Pruient Intent and Section 3-906 - Divulging Private Communications.]

[Illinois: Note that your behavior is a violation of Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3 - Stalking, Chapter 720 ILCS 5/12-7.4 - Aggravated Stalking, Chapter 720 ILCS 5/12-7.5 - Cyberstalking, Chapter 720 ILCS 135/1-1 - Harassment by telephone, Chapter 720 ILCS 135/1-2 - Harassment through electronic communications, Chapter 720 ILCS 135/0.01 - 135/2 - Harassing and Obscene Communications Act and Chapter 720 ILCS 135/0.01 Short Title Harassing and Obscene Communications Act.

[Massachusetts: Note that your behavior is a violation of Massachusetts Criminal Statutes Chapter 265:37 - Violations of Constitutional Rights, Chapter 265:43 - Stalking, Chapter 265:43A - Criminal Harassment and Chapter 265:14A - Annoying Telephone Calls]

[In Washington DC: Note that your behavior is a violation of Federal Criminal Statutes 47 USC 223(a)(1)(c) - Obscene or Harassing Telephone Calls in the District of Columbia or in Interstate or Foreign Communications; District of Columbia Code, Title 22, Section 504 - Threatened Assault in a Menacing Manner; Stalking

[Virginia: Note that your behavior is a violation of the Criminal Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 18.2-60.3A - Stalking, Class 1 Misdemeanor and 18.2-60.3B - Stalking, Class 6 Felony.]

[California: Note that your behavior is a violation of the California Penal Code Subsection 646.9 - Stalking and 422 - Punishment for Threats]

[Texas: Note that your behavior is a violation of the Texas Penal Code Subsection 42.072(a)(b)(c) - Stalking and Subsection 42.07(a)(b)(c) - Harassment]

[Federal: Note that your behavior is a violation of US Federal Laws 18 USC Subsection 2265 Full Faith and Credit, 18 USC Subsection 2261A Interstate Stalking, 18 USC Subsection 875(c) Interstate Communications, 47 USC Subsection 223(a)(1)(c) Harassing Telephone Calls in Interstate Communications]

[Interstate Statues: Note that your behavior is a violation of Federal Criminal Statutes 18 USC 2261A - Interstate Stalking and 47 USC 223(a)(1)(c) - Obscene or Harassing Telephone Calls in the District of Columbia or in Interstate or Foreign Communications]

[Additional US state-by-state anti-stalking laws are available at: State Laws]

Should you willfully choose to continue your current course of action, I will not hesitate to file a complaint with the Police Department for your ongoing violations of the Criminal Laws noted previously.

This letter does not constitute exhaustive statement of my position nor is it a waiver of any of my rights and/or remedies in this and/or any other related matter.

We demand your immediate compliance, and furthermore that you confirm in writing that all violative activity will cease immediately.

Very truly yours,


Sent via Priority Mail/Delivery Confirmation

- [Your local Police Deparment /local Police Precinct]


AngieB54 (author)2016-11-02

You need to be careful with the wording. How can you claim a violation has been committed in the past tense when the person has not been convicted or maybe it doesn't even fit the potential crime and then instruct people to send it to a police department. A person could be found libel for defamation of character.

A violation of law is a violation when it is committed, not when the person gets charged and/or convicted.

A violation is an act of doing something that is not allowed by a law according to the Merriam-Webster no it's not a conviction. The verbiage of telling someone their behavior is in violation of whatever law is not a problem. The problem is when you send it to a third party---public or private (doesn't matter). If you've stretched the truth or attempted to scare them with accusing them of inaccurate violations they may call you out through a civil lawsuit of defamation or even harassment in itself. Just be careful when throwing out accusations and be ready to prove the violation happened. I just wouldn't set myself up for a potential countersuit or a civil suit by courtesy copying the police.

It won't be a problem because you are stating which laws are broken; and informing law enforcement is only a problem if it is false; it doesn't require conviction.

That's what I said. If you can't prove it, it will be seen as false. People just need to know a counter suit or civil suit can happen if your claims are false. If you get the police involved then just file a police report.

matt392 (author)AngieB542016-11-02

Please note that your statements are incorrect. The Cease and Desist Letter does not say that the person has been convicted of any crime. It notes that their *behavior* is in violation of criminal laws. This is not libel. It is noting that their actions are against the law, informing the perpetrator of that fact and alerting the police to that fact as well. A person can be in violation of a law without being convicted. Libel and defamation is only for public declarations. Sending the perpetrator a private letter and a private letter to the police does not qualify as public. Citizens have the absolute right to identify behavior that is violating their rights and request that the person cease contact with them.

AngieB54 (author)matt3922016-11-08

No my statements can be correct. I'm not against someone identifying unacceptable behavior but they better be careful of the criminal/civil accusations they make and sending it to a third party. If a person makes a false accusation through a letter and that same letter is sent the police that can be seen as libel. Libel does not have to be "public declaration". Libel as it pertains to "Published" means that a third party heard or saw the statement -- that is, someone other than the person who made the statement or the person the statement was about. Accusations out of malice sent to police could be seen as libel. I'd just be careful telling people to CC the police department if their accusations could possibly be invalid. They may see themselves accused of defamation and sued.

StinaB (author)2016-10-09

Can I give this to my neighbor who is constantly complaining about my dog barking, or when he yells from his window saying "I know you hear me, I see your lights on?". Also, there was a time when my brother was in the driveway about to pull off with his music on, and the neighbor comes to his backyard (which is fenced and faces our driveway), and tells my brother to turn his music down?

Depends. You may be bothered by his yelling, and he is bothered by your dog barking. You both have the right to quiet enjoyment of your property, but your dog barking can be considered the precipitating act and classified as disturbing the peace. Same thing with the music - everyone shouldn't be able to hear it off your property.

matt392 (author)StinaB2016-10-10

It is worth a try with regards to him yelling at you from his window. You may want to send a copy to the local police dept as well. It might be best to leave the driveway incident out of it for now.

4eyes4you (author)2016-08-31

I'm not sure who wrote the article and what their authority is, but a lay person cannot slap the word "Order," on something and it be so. A person may send a C&D letter, but only a Judge in a Court of law can approve a valid order. The letter sets up the paper trail so that if/when the recipient violates what the particular behavior noted in the letter, then you can utilize the delivery confirmation accompanied with the continued contact to file a petition with the court and then receive an actual Order. The recipient upon receipt of the original letter is under zero obligation to sign and return the document. It does serve as a strong warning and should be adhered to.

Summer1015 (author)4eyes4you2016-09-19

You can use it .... And in order to make it stick get it notarized! .... I did against my physco neighbor ....

4eyes4you (author)Summer10152016-09-19

Anyone can use it, notarized doesn't make the difference. I simply saying it's not an "Order." Only a Court of Law can issue an order. Notary or not, the most important aspect is sending it certified to ensure the recipient has been provided proper notice. But still yet, that does not qualify as an order. The purpose of the letter is to put the person on notice of their activities. If the person is provided notice and continues to behave in a harrassive manner, it makes obtaining an R.O. that much easier.

liam.macgready (author)4eyes4you2017-06-21

Correct. Notarization is unnecessary. However, I would send it certified mail, delivery confirmation required.

Summer1015 (author)4eyes4you2016-09-20

It may be different for you because your a civilian .... But seeing I'm military and its notarized ..., it makes more of a difference military does not put up with harassment threats or what not .... It's not tolerated and gets handled in a differently ....

liam.macgready (author)4eyes4you2017-06-21

Absolutely correct re. the letter/order distinction. In fact sending that which can be misunderstood to be a court order is in most if not all jurisdictions an offence in itself.

matt392 (author)4eyes4you2016-09-01

If you don't like the title, you don't have to use it.

4eyes4you (author)matt3922016-09-01

Thanks for the feedback. I was respectfully commenting on the fact I do not believe you can entitle it as an Order, as an Order has to be issued by the Court. I say 'authority,' because I do not know if you are bared in a state where this is permissible or considered a legally valid order. Just my understanding. Simply meant to clarify. Thanks.

4eyes4you (author)4eyes4you2016-08-31

*Pardon the grammar and typos, I am unable to edit the comment.

PaulE35 (author)2015-11-12

I will say this, the effects of the laws of which put fear into the people, this by all rights and means of the United States Constitution is legitimate, especially when child support orders are implemented, they threaten people, take their lively hood, to collect a debt, that is not only a threat to the parent but to the child/ren, and it is proven by attorneys that forcing a parent into being a second class citizen benefits them financially by the title IV - D and title IV - E, in which it is aa threat to children and parents by taking away from their social security retirement,

matt392 (author)PaulE352015-11-13

The Cease and Desist Letter is designed to protect people's rights. Citizens have a right to live their lives free of being harassed, stalked and intimidated by others. Those who would engaged in sociopathic behavior against others need to know it is against the law. Freedom does not give one the right hurt others.

BT18 (author)matt3922017-06-17

Hello Mat I agree with you. I would like a copy of this one so I can USE it..

chimere bell (author)2017-04-02


Ajudge207 (author)2016-08-30

I put a news article about someone who embezzled money from a little league, on this persons company website. To let them know who they had hired. I just recently heard I would be receiving a C&D letter. How does that work, if the article is a public record. I do not see how i did anything wrong. Just letting the company know who they had working for them.

matt392 (author)Ajudge2072016-09-01

Not too sure about that. One might have to wait until you get the C&D.

scottoh403 (author)2016-08-22

What about in the instance of an ex that not so much harasses me directly, but continually contacts new people that I might start dating (through social media, FB...) and libels/slanders my name and just creates an all around unmanageable situation for me regrading new relationships. Would this letter work in that situation?

matt392 (author)scottoh4032016-08-23

There is no guarantee, but it is worth a chance to try to send one. However, be sure to note the specific instances that are harassing and threatening to you.

slapachoke (author)2016-08-11

If someone is stalking/harassing me from another state. Once I go file a formal complaint with the police. Do I contact the police in my city or theirs?

matt392 (author)slapachoke2016-08-11

In my opinion, it would be best to send them a Cease and Desist Letter and then send a copy to the police in your local jurisdiction. Even though the person is out of state, the crime is being committed against you, and your local police would be the ones who would be responsible. Hope this helps.

LynnC56 (author)2016-08-07

I am being harrassed by my husbands family. All attempts by him and myself to stop the threats and intimidation and harassment have been unsuccessful. His niece still insists on carrying on with it and she is in college and refuses to give out her address. How can I send her this letter by mail, not knowing where to send it? Parents house maybe?

matt392 (author)LynnC562016-08-07

How many people? If it is the parents and niece, I would 1 to the husband, 1 to the wife at their address. With regards to the niece, i,would send one copy to the bursars office with her name and the title "student". Also, I would send 1 to the central mail facility with her name and "student" as the title. I am assuming she is living in a form. Be sure to send each with Delivery Confirmation.

StuS8 (author)2016-06-18

Do you need to sign it as well? I would hate to have them be able to learn to forge my signature.

matt392 (author)StuS82016-06-29

In order for it to be legal in Court, it needs to be signed. If they forge your signature, then that is another criminal charge you can file against them.

Dejesussharon (author)2016-05-06

Thank you Matt. You are awesome for posting all this useful information.

matt392 (author)Dejesussharon2016-05-06

You're welcome Sharon! Thank you for your kind words - they really mean a lot to me. Did you find it helpful?

DonnaW77 (author)2016-04-27

A friend of mine has a dilly of a problem. Her ex-husband, with whom she has 2 children, continually harasses her. Not only that but he poisons her kids against her saying terrible things. Can this be used to start the paper trail? And be modified to include some sort of communication ONLY if it has to do with their one minor child? She has stated to me on more than one occasion that she is afraid for her life. The threats come from different sources and are indirect, so it really cant be proven and at this point I feel a restraining order would not help!

matt392 (author)DonnaW772016-04-28

It might be best if she starts to send Cease and Desist Letters via Delivery Confirmation to him outlining the behavior that is threatening and requesting that he only contact her via email, not the phone or in person. Over time, she will be able to develop a paper trail with the Cease and Desists can be used if she goes to the police and/or Family Court for further legal action. Also, keeping all communication over email will provide additional evidence if the threats are made via email, as they can be printed out and attached to the Cease and Desist Letters. The letter can be modified to request that only issues regarding their children be discussed and nothing else. I was confused by your statement that the threats are coming from different sources; my understanding was that it was only coming from one person.

HeliodoroA (author)2016-04-13

I got a call from unknown number so I send it to voicemail, person left a voice mail with real bad attitude about a fax order for delivery that I needed to contact them cause they didn't have enough information. And that they will have someone delivery to my place of work or home

AmyN25 (author)2016-03-24

What if the issue is that a certain person or entity has had you under surveillance and this has being going on for a very long time? In the state of NJ what can be done?

matt392 (author)AmyN252016-03-26

If it is surveillance by a private entity, perhaps you can send it to the agency or party who is conducting the surveillance. Here are the NJ codes:
- New Jersey: Note that your behavior is a violation of New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice Title 2C:12-10
- Stalking, Title 2C:33-34 - Harassment.

AmyN25 (author)matt3922016-04-02

How do I find out who the investigator is? And what if someone hires a different one?

matt392 (author)AmyN252016-04-06

It would depend on how much information you can get on the person/agency. If they have a car, perhaps you can use the license plate to find an address? If they are private investigators that have been hired by a cult like Opus Dei or Scientology, perhaps you can send it to their local headquarters and the police to demand that they stop hiring private investigators.

TeeF2 (author)2016-03-10

Could anyone help me out with the Ohio codes? My partners ex wife and her family constantly are trashing me all over social media, taking pictures of me while I am out in public, calling me names, they used to call, text, and facebook messenger harass me. They got scared (I think) of leaving more of a paper trail and seem to always pop up where ever I go now. I have not done anything up until almost 2 years later, because of the fact he has a child with her and we have only recently received a court ordered visitation order.

matt392 (author)TeeF22016-03-11

Here is Ohio's Menacing by stalking:
Aggravated Menacing:
And information on Protection Orders:
Telecommunications Harassment:
Disorderly Conduct:

JoseL7 (author)2015-12-02

Hey tbis letter can be use to notify the agressor that all harassment and abuse willstop, if not legal action will be take. I had a neighbor who harassed me so i sent a letter. Then he took it as a joke took proff of service deliver, to the police he was arrested and then obtain a restrai.i.g order , days later he violated the order by getting near me he is in prison . Harrasment is not a joke be safe .great post thank you author of the letter

matt392 (author)JoseL72015-12-02

Glad it helped!

alybianca (author)2015-11-20

I need advice! I live in an apartment building that has 6 units, including mine. One of my neighbors has started spreading rumors about my family and I. The last time I've seen her around the property was about 4 months ago, so I was shocked to hear from other tenants what she was saying. There is no truth in what she is saying and I'm afraid that she'll have an effect on our relationship with other tenants, or even worse, convince our landlord to not renew our lease. It just makes for an extremely uncomfortable situation. I have not spoken to her about the issues she has. My first inclination was to write her a cease and desist letter. Would that be applicable to my situation?

wyatterp123 (author)2015-11-11

I believe Matts advice is dangerous. Matt, I am not trying to be mean to you, but some things need to be cleared up in very concise language because people who need Cease and desist orders and restraining orders are typically in very real danger of losing life and limb. So please don't take offense to my writing style. It's not meant to be cutting.

Matt said: "I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that if one sends a C&D to a person, then you should not communicate with them anymore."

This is why anyone who needs a restraining order or a cease and desist order should consult the police first and then an attorney.

In law [a cease and desist] order prohibit[s] starting or continuing a specific action stated in the order. Used against a person or an enterprise; usually issued by a court or a government agency. 2. In finance it is an order to stop starting or continuing activities that may not be legal. Begun with the implementation of the Financial Institutions Regulator Act of 1978, this order is issued by a court or government agency. The order is meant to allow parties an opportunity to be heard during a hearing. Often, it is used to prevent practice of risky banking procedures.

Don't believe me? look here:

Law Dictionary: What is CEASE AND DESIST? definition of CEASE AND DESIST (Black's Law Dictionary)

A "cease and desist LETTER" is different. It is something with no legal validity at all and can be written by anyone. The only legitimate purpose is to create a paper trail that you want a particular action to stop. And that is a good purpose in many cases. It puts a person on notice that the actions are unwanted by you, rather than you "being ok with" the actions.

This is a critical distinction because misrepresenting yourself as someone who can issue "orders" is misrepresentation not only of yourself, your authority and your power to another, but it also creates a deadly false security that the "order" you send has legal meaning.

Again, people who need these types of orders are typically in real danger. Those people need accurate information, which could be life saving, not dangerous ways to inflame and provoke and create a very false sense of power and safety.

Additionally, the state codes posted may or may not apply. Each situation is unique, and throwing the whole pot of stew at someone is extremely unwise, because it reveals the ignorance of the writer, not the actions of the person the writer wishes to stop. Unless you have a real understanding of the codes and a practical understanding of the case law which sets the standards for applying those codes, this is a risky path to go down.

It may seem odd, but "harassment" is somewhat subjective. For example, criminals often claim harassment by people suing them for the return of property stolen (yes, they do) or by the police for searching their houses for the body they chopped and put in their freezer (yes. they do complain). On the other hand, some people are complaining about psychos who call 100 times per day saying obscene things. Then there are people who don't pay their bills who feel they are being harassed by mail notices to pay those bills. They probably DO "feel" harassed, however, that feeling would stop if they would repay their creditors in a timely manner.

The law recognizes there are multiple scenarios and multiple possible responses. It differentiates between legitimate ones and ones that are illegitimate. And it recognizes the INTENT behind the contact. An individual may "feel" harassed, like in the example of legitimately sending bills for debt owed, however, the INTENT is to recover the debt, not to "annoy", "intimidate" or "threaten" (see CT CGS 53a-183)- The law doesn't care how the dead beat feels.

Point is- if you are being stalked/harassed/ threatened/intimidated or abused in any way, go to the POLICE AND call a domestic violence hotline and let them help you get the correct paperwork to protect yourself and your family. You can and in many cases should send a LETTER demanding specific actions to stop (please do not use "legal terminology" if you do not know it's meaning in law). Say it simply: (example)This letter is to tell you to cease and desist any and all contact with me, (insert name). do not contact me by any means, including, but not limited to phone, e mail, text, social media, mail, other people. Do not have any personal contact with me. Do not come to my work, my class, my school, my house." "Do not speak to me for any reason. Indefinately."

Pretending to be a lawyer, when everyone knows you are not, or "acting like" (you think a lawyer acts) a lawyer, can potentially make things a lot worse for you, for reasons you may not know or understand.

Be safe and be wise. Ask for help from people who can offer you wise counsel.

matt392 (author)wyatterp1232015-11-12

Keep in mind, laws can be utilized by all citizens, not only lawyers. The law belongs to the people, not only the wealthy and powerful. The Cease and Desist Letter/Order is designed to create a strong paper trail for evidence. If after 2 or 3 Cease and Desist Letters/Orders are sent, the police would then have probable cause to arrest someone for harassment/stalking. Going to the police without evidence is useless. They cannot arrest someone based on what is said to them; they need a documented trail of evidence.

JanellG (author)2015-11-11

If someone lives with their parents and two other siblings but, is continuously verbally harassed and tormented by the menacing, disruptive and threatening negative behavior towards myself and my 3 yr old son, and the parents were informed of this emotionally and mentally draining and completely on provoked behavior and nothing has been done about it...can that person use a cease and desist letter somehow to attempt to stop the harassment? For the bedroom floor or any floor for that matter, to be spat upon in reaction to them simply walking passed and their sleep to be continually disrupted by loud deliberate banging upon their shared bedroom wall each night awaking their autistic toddler at all hours of the night causing lack of sleep and the feeling of anxiety and emotional distress for them both...and no positive actions being taken to correct or stop such behavior, what steps or process should they take to stop the hart assent themselves? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

About This Instructable




Bio: Occupation: Tech Support
More by matt392:2nd Method - Using Hole Saw Without ArborUsing Hole Saw Without ArborBox for Raspberry Pi Model B and Power Supply Made From Wood Shims
Add instructable to: