What Does "Cease and Desist" Mean?

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Discussions surrounding harassment laws often have the term “cease-and-desist” come up, but those discussions may not make it completely clear what that means. Familiarize yourself with the term cease-and-desist; it will likely prove to be useful if you’re trying to stop some form of harassment.

Definition of Cease-and-Desist

Basically, a cease-and-desist can be one of two things: it’s either a court order that forces a party to stop engaging in a specific action or a cautionary document to ask someone to stop a particular action.

For example, if someone has a stalker, that person could ask an attorney to file a cease-and-desist that orders the stalker to stop following that person. That cease-and-desist would be sent to the stalker, which would serve as a notification to stop. This can also help in court if the stalking continues because that person will have a clear record that they attempted to stop it.

Additionally, a court can order a cease-and-desist, which is more commonly referred to as a “cease-and-desist order.” A judge could file a cease-and-desist order to a business that is infringing on copyright, and the company could then agree to comply by adhering to the copyright laws.

Cease-and-Desists and the FDCPA

Cease-and-desists are useful tools if you’re fighting harassment. If you’ve ever been harassed by a third-party collector, for example, you may want to consider asking an attorney to file a cease-and-desist. You don’t deserve to be called multiple times a day and have unauthorized parties discussing your debt; talk to an FDCPA attorney to learn about cease-and-desists and other options you might have at your disposal.