Stop Violations before They Start
Video Transcribed: What are the types of cease and desist letters in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa Attorney James Wirth and that’s the topic we have. We’re doing a series regarding cease and desist letters.
So what are the types in Oklahoma? Well, there’s no set list of types. It’s not as formal as that, it’s not statutory, but these are common ones that we see come up. Essentially, anytime that someone is violating somebody’s rights and you want to send out a formal letter from a law firm sent by certified mail advising them that, “Hey, you’re doing this, you shouldn’t be, you need to stop. If you don’t stop, then this may happen,” Then that’s going to be a good opportunity for a cease and desist letter to try to stop it, to avoid litigation, and get it taken care of faster and cheaper.
So what types of letters do we normally see for that? We’ve got IP infringement. So if you’ve got infringement on a copyright, on a trademark, something along those lines, that could be a good one to give notice of the violation, the opportunity for them to stop before litigation is filed. Debt collection, you’ve got the right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to advise a collector, a creditor, to stop contacting you. And under that, they need to stop doing so or they’re going to be in violation of the law if they continue to contact you. That doesn’t relieve you of the debt obligation, but it does relieve you of receiving harassing phone calls, mail, and whatever contact you want to stop.
Libel, slander, defamation, that’s another one. If somebody is defaming, you by posting something that is false online that shows you in a bad light, then that could be a cease and desist letter demanding that they take that down. Doing a cease and desist letter can be faster than filing a lawsuit and going to court on it, but you can still do that if they don’t essentially cease and desist, then you can go to litigation to be in a better position if you didn’t do the cease and desist letter first.
Revenge porn. If somebody is posting something inappropriate regarding you online that shows nudity or generally, it’s an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or something like that, you want to get that down quickly because when something’s online, that can spread very fast. If we’re talking about filing a lawsuit, we draft that up, we file it with the court, we serve it, and you get 20 days to file a response. Litigation can be a slow process. You’re going to want it something to be faster than that. If you can get out a cease and desist letter on something like that, you may want it set it by a process server, you can get it out the same day and hopefully, they can see the serious consequences, which is revenge porn, that is a crime, has a potential for jail time, advising them of that, demanding they take it down and hopefully get it down quickly before it spreads too much.
Harassment. If someone is harassing you, then you could have a basis to file a protective order, but sometimes you want to avoid that litigation in court because those documents are public records. You can do it privately through a cease and desist advising that they are violating the law by harassing and demanding that they stop and hopefully they do so without the need to file for litigation.
Another one’s nuisance. So if you’ve got a neighbor dispute, sometimes it’s a barking dog, if it’s violating a city ordinance, anything like that, if the law is being violated, whether it’s criminal law or civil law, you could use a cease and desist letter to demand that activity stop. And then also note what may happen, filing a lawsuit, making a criminal referral if they don’t cease that activity.
All right, so those are the various types of cease and desist letters that we see at the Wirth Law Office. If you’ve got a scenario where someone’s violating your rights, you’re going to want to talk to somebody specifically about that, schedule it with an attorney so you can talk privately, confidentially, and get legal advice. To schedule that with an Oklahoma cease and desist attorney at my office. You can go online to makelaweasy.com.