Cease and Desist Order Definition

A cease and desist order, often referred to as a "C and D", is a legal ruling imposed by a court which demands that the recipient halt some activity. A cease and desist order is a court order and will result in legal penalties if ignored. Such is not necessarily the case with a cease and desist letter, which can be drafted by anyone though most commonly by an attorney, and only threatens potential legal penalties. Some cease and desist orders issue a permanent injunction against the activity while others issue only a temporary injunction pending further legal investigation.