Sample Personal Legal Letters

A personal legal letter is one that is addressed to or by an individual—rather than a group of individuals or a business.

For example, a debtor may use a personal legal letter to inform an attorney of their decision to retain them . . . or to a creditor that they are filing for bankruptcy or acknowledge acceptance of payment terms set by a court.

A personal legal letter is prepared and replied to by someone who has the experience and the expertise, usually a lawyer/counsel or a professional writer with a background in law.

As with virtually all other types of legal letters, it is common to find personal legal letters using legalese to communicate a point. The vocabulary used and the structures of the sentences can be complicated. Drafting a personal legal letter can be as difficult as making sense of one.

But if it is your signature that's going to go at the bottom of the personal legal letter, understand it you must. Go through the letter more than once. Confirm what each paragraph means. Ask questions. Voice objections until you are satisfied the letter represents your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and decisions.


[Company name]

Sub: Violation of child custody court order

Dear Mr. [Last name],

Please be informed that you are in violation of a child custody court order delivered on September 3, 2010, by the New York Family Court granting custody of Ms. [Name], then 5 years old, to my client and your former wife, Ms. [Name].

Besides unlawful custody, you are also liable to be prosecuted for kidnapping of a minor, visitation law violation, false imprisonment, endangering the life of a minor, causing emotional and psychological trauma to both Ms. [Name] and my client, and the federal offense of abducting and fleeing across state lines.

Because you snatched Ms. [Name] from her home on the night of September 13, 2011, by also threatening to physically assault her nanny, Ms. [Name], with a dangerous weapon with an intent to cause grievous bodily harm or worse, you are also liable to be prosecuted for attempted manslaughter or murder in the third degree.

I now wish to bring to your notice that criminal proceedings have been initiated by my client against you and that the law firm that I represent has been retained by the plaintiff, Ms. [Name], to ensure justice is served.

You are hereby advised to contact the undersigned to make arrangements for the safe return of Ms. [Name] to her rightful custodian and my plaintiff, Ms. [Name], before the commencement of the court proceedings or face the consequences of your actions.