Delaware officials will not allow popular Colorado-based restaurant series Illegal Pete’s to convert to a Delaware limited liability company because the corporation’s title has”a negative connotation,” according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.
But state Department of Businesses records show that Delaware officials have signed off on plenty of , entity names that are even disgusting.
Illegal Pete’s is a 23-year-old restaurant chain. The business is named in honor of its creator’s father, who’s described on Illegal Pete’s site as”a bit of a good-natured hell-raiser within his day.” The company has nine places in Colorado and two in Arizona.
Officials, but couldn’t gut”Illegal Pete’s,” a title that has drawn the ire of several activists in Colorado and Arizona who believe it is offensive to Hispanics and conjures up anti-immigrant feelings.
“Our restaurant team was frustrated by Delaware’s misinterpretation that the band’s title is in any way intended as derogatory, which is not the case and hasn’t been the case,” attorney David Finger said in an email Wednesday. “There’s in reality a particular background for the name that has nothing to do with Delaware’s insistence, which background has been given to the state.”
“We hope to solve this unfortunate hardship as rapidly as possible,” Finger added.
A spokesman for the Department of State of Delaware, which manages the Department of Businesses, said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The dispute began when the firm filed paperwork to turn into a Delaware limited liability company, linking the universe of business entities who call Delaware home for legal purposes.
However, according to the lawsuit filed Monday, Corporation Sections Manager Margaret Magnusen informed a company representative by phone that the application would be refused. She also followed up with an email noting Delaware law permits her workplace to deny a filing if the use of a corporate title”might cause injury to the interests of the general public or the state.”
“As it stands, the record will probably be reversed unless an alteration is made to the name,” Magnusen wrote.
Lawyers for Illegal Pete’s claim the language cited by Magnusen about harm to the public reacted solely to situations in which a company that isn’t overseen by the state banking commissioner wants to use the term”bank” in its name. The lawsuit said the decision was”arbitrary and capricious,” depriving the organization of its”liberty interest of expression and free speech” and its right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.
The complaint also alleges that the state’s refusal to file the company formation certifications is”unlawful viewpoint and content discrimination” that violates the First Amendment.