Letter of Intent to Sue (with Settlement Demand) – Sample

A letter of intent to sue is a letter in which a plaintiff declares their intent to sue and demands a settlement. In a letter of intent to sue, the injured party (plaintiff) informs the offending party (defendant) of their intention to sue. The letter describes the offending incident and requests a settlement. The defendant can choose to pay the settlement amount in the prescribed time frame and avoid a costly court case. If the defendant does not choose to settle, the plaintiff is free to pursue the case.

In some areas, the plaintiff must send this letter before suing the defendant. Whether or not it is legally required, this letter can help a plaintiff and defendant reach a settlement out of court.

In this article, we discuss what you need to include in your letter of intent to sue. We provide a format you can use when you write your letter and a sample letter for you to read

Before You Write

Preparing a settlement demand requires you to itemize and calculate the amount you are demanding. Request an amount that you can support by evidence, such as repair estimates or medical bills. Of course, if you are injured and lose work, you can demand lost wages by showing conclusively the amount of time you missed work.

Write a summary of the complaint. Include enough detail to make your case, but avoid including too much detail. This summary will help you as you draft your letter of intent to sue.

This letter expresses your serious intent to sue the defendant if they do not meet your settlement demand. Keep this in mind as you write your letter.

What to Include in Your Letter of Intent to Sue

Be sure your letter contains all of the following information.

  • The effective date
  • Subject line – RE: Notice of Intent to File Lawsuit
  • Plaintiff name
  • Defendant name
  • Alleged offense – summary with applicable facts
  • Statement of intent to sue
  • Settlement demand
  • The time frame during which the settlement offer is valid
  • The governing state (the name of your state)

Settlement Demand Letter – Format

{your name}

{your address}

Effective Date: {date}

{defendant name}

{defendant address}

RE: Notice of Intent to File Lawsuit

Dear {defendant name},

This letter serves as formal notice that I intend to file a lawsuit against you because {offense. Write a concise summary of the incident and include only the details that support your case.}

I desire relief in the form of {Write your total settlement demand here. Include your itemized list of expenses and enclose copies of your estimates of receipts.} This offer to settle this matter and avoid a lawsuit is valid for {number} days after this letter’s date. If I do not receive a favorable response in {number} days, I will promptly begin a lawsuit.

This letter of intent to sue is governed by the laws of the state of {your state}.


{your signature}

{your name}


Sample Letter of Intent to Sue (with Settlement Demand)

Mr. Solon Jacobson

20896 South Sheridan

Middleton, NJ 85669

Effective Date: July 8, 2040

Mr. Daniel Watson

Watson Painting, Inc.

402 West Hemingway

Middleton, NJ 85669

RE: Notice of Intent to File Lawsuit

Dear Mr. Daniel Watson,

This letter provides formal notice of my intention to file a lawsuit against you.

On June 6, 2040, I hired your company to paint the interior walls of my home. You included the painting of all the cabinetry and trim in your estimate.

On June 12, I paid you in the form of a check for the amount of $2698.00. The work you performed up to that date appeared to be acceptable. When I returned from work on June 12, I found a receipt that stated you had completed the job.

However, when I inspected the completed kitchen and utility room cabinetry that evening, all these cabinets had paint runs and drips that had dried on them. When I contacted you to repair this issue, you told me you had already completed the job and would not return for a few drips or runs.

Your response was entirely unacceptable. The drips and runs pose a significant eyesore and are expensive to repair. You can either return and repair the issue to my satisfaction or pay to have the repairs completed. I have enclosed two estimates for repair, both for the amount of $600.00.

This offer to settle out of court and avoid a lawsuit is valid for 30 days after the date of this letter. If you do not fix the issue or pay for the repairs within this time frame, I will commence a lawsuit against you.

This notice of intent to file a lawsuit is governed by the laws of the state of New Jersey.


Solon Jacobson

Solon Jacobson


Letter of Intent to Sue (Word | PDF Template)

Letter of Intent to Sue (Word Template)


When you write your letter of intent to sue, remember that your intent is the key point of your letter. However, you are also offering a way to settle the dispute without resorting to a lawsuit. Base your settlement demand amount on your actual costs, and provide evidence like estimates or invoices. Allow the defendant the time to pay or settle in another form. If you present this letter and the defendant does not settle, this letter will provide valuable evidence in a lawsuit.