Legal System

Demand Letters: Giving Notice Before Taking Legal Action


Before taking legal action against someone, you usually give that person a formal written notice. You do this by sending a demand letter.

What should the letter say? Do you always have to send one? If you receive one, how do you respond?

A demand letter is also sometimes called a “lawyer’s letter” or “formal notice” or, in French, a “mise en demeure.” It means you’re making a formal demand for something.

What Is a Demand Letter?

This article on “Demand Letters” explains what a demand letter is, the situations when you have to send one, why it can be a good idea to send one even if it is not required and situations when the law says a person is automatically notified (so a demand letter is unnecessary).

How to Write a Demand Letter

This article on “Writing a Demand Letter” explains:

  • Who can write a demand letter?
  • What must a demand letter say?
  • When should you send the letter and how?

This article also has models of demand letters.

What to Do If You’ve Received a Demand Letter?

This article on “Answering a Demand Letter” explains how you can respond, what to consider before responding and how to prepare to negotiate or go to court.