In California, an individual can stop another person, company or organization from engaging in unlawful behavior. A cease and desist letter can be sent by an attorney, judge or government agency. Cease and desist letters are often used to stop intellectual property infringement, libel and slander.
A letter to cease and desist instructs a person to stop the illegal action. A cease and desist letter uses the threat of legal action to stop an entity or individual from continuing the harmful activity.
A court or government agency can issue a cease and desist order if the moving party establishes proof of the illegal activity. The court or government agency can issue a permanent or a temporary order that lasts until a final judgment on the matter is issued.
In California, besides a court-issued order, the State Water Resources Board can issue a cease and desist order when a person violates or threatens to violate a water code or order by the board. California also allows an agricultural commissioner the power to issue a cease and desist order when a person sells or delivers pesticide in violation of the Food and Agricultural Code.