How to write a letter of intent to sue

Updated March 23, 2017

Deciding to sue someone is a big step and should be considered carefully from all angles before you pursue legal action. If you do decide to sue, you will need to set emotions aside and be very organised, methodical and clear in how you deal with the proceedings. Notify the recipient of your litigation actions by sending him a formal letter of intent to sue, and keep a copy for your own records.

Contact your attorney or local law office to inquire about state laws regarding letters of intent to sue. Different states have different laws and in some it may be illegal to send the letter if you do not actually follow through with the proceedings.

Locate the full name and address of the person you have decided to sue. Open your word processor to type the letter (avoid hand writing a legal document). Write a formal salutation that greets the recipient by name, such as "Dear Mr. Jones."

Write the body of your letter. Do not use emotional phrasing or slang, but rather clear, professional language. Explain in as much detail as possible exactly what action you are suing the person over, detailing the date and time of the action and listing any witnesses you may have. Remember that this letter may be used in court, and it is important that you phrase everything clearly so that your words cannot be misconstrued.

Type your name and the current date, then print the letter and sign it. Make a copy of the letter of intent for your own records. Go to the post office and send your letter via certified mail or courier so that you receive confirmation when the recipient receives the letter, which is another important document to save.

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About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.