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How to write a notice of intent to sue letter

Updated March 23, 2017

Writing an intent-to-sue letter is a last-resort solution before going to court and should be used only when other verbal and written reminders have failed. Whether the debt owed is for a business or personal matter, it is important to write an intent-to-sue letter only if you plan to follow through with a lawsuit if the situation is not resolved. Writing the actual letter is fairly easy and can be done without quoting laws.

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  1. Obtain the full name and correct address of the person you intend to sue. If you believe an actual crime, such as intentional fraud, has been committed against you or your business, do not write an intent-to-sue letter. Contact your local police instead and file the appropriate reports.

  2. Type the letter to the person you intend to sue using a word-processing program. You can write something along the lines of the following: "For the past three months, I have tried unsuccessfully to secure payment of £195 for the services I provided. Unfortunately, I feel I have no choice but to file a civil lawsuit against you if I do not receive payment within 30 days."

  3. Print the letter and send it certified mail at the United States Postal Office or via a courier. This will give you confirmation that the person you intend to sue received the letter, which is an important document to have if you take legal action.

  4. Visit your local courthouse or contact your attorney to file a lawsuit against the person or business if you do not receive restitution in the time period quoted in your notice of intent-to-sue letter.

  5. Tip

    Exhaust every possible remedy before sending an intent-to-sue letter.


    It may be a crime in some states to send an intent-to-sue letter if you do not intend to follow through on the legal threat.

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About the Author

Stephanie Mojica has been a journalist since 1997 and currently works as a full-time reporter at the daily newspaper "The Advocate-Messenger" in Kentucky. Her articles have also appeared in newspapers such as "The Philadelphia Inquirer" and "The Virginian-Pilot," as well as several online publications. She holds a bachelor's degree from Athabasca University.

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