Macomb, IL asked in Civil Litigation, Libel & Slander and Personal Injury for Illinois

Q: State Agency Rep committed slander and put Red Flag report on person after 40 second phone call.

SBDC office rep was to transfer me to their office manager to go over business plans for services. The Receptionist spoke to me for 40 seconds. After, transferred me. She then continued to file a State police complaint claiming I was a threat to society. Googled my name, saw images of me over seas. Claimed I was working for a Foreign government. Then continued to get me kicked out of the services from the SBDC Nationally. With no SBA assistance for business startup or loan programs, in any state. Clearly Military discrimination. Falsely describing the business project as something it wasn't (didn't read the business plan). What recourse should a person take in suing a state agency for blocking services for a false accusation. Yet private banks like the idea and want to invest, yet the SBDC and SBA reject to process the documentation due to this discrimination issue. Dept of Human Rights confirmed right to lawsuit in the matter. But no money to hire a lawyer for it.

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: You cannot sue a State Agency in Civil Court. You must sue them in the Court of Claims and then only after filing a Tort Claims Notice (usually within 6 months). That is probably a very bad idea for many reasons, including limited recovery and a long wait time to be paid.

The suggestion that a receptionist, hired to answer the telephone, had the clearance and authority to investigate and red-flag your application, nationwide, in 40 seconds, is patently ridiculous. Government employees are immune from suit on any action taken within the course and scope of their duties. Blackballing an applicant, nationally, is so far outside the course and scope of the duties of a receptionist that the person in question would have no such immunity. You could sue her. You would win. That said, given that your business was never funded, your damages are entirely speculative. The only way to calculate your damages would be for you to secure alternate funding for your business and for the business to be successful, early on. If the business generates a profit of $10,000 per month and the receptionist's actions delayed the business by one year, your damages are $120,000.00

Additionally, there must be some mechanism to request appeal/reconsideration. Nobody is discriminating against you. It is simply the case that some idiot has exceeded his/her authority which has proven a serious detriment to your plans. I do not know the mechanism to request reconsideration so I cannot tell you about the logistics involved. You will need to do some research and ask some questions.

Lastly, it should be obvious that if you need the assistance of the SBA, it would be foolhardy to sue the receptionist unless there was nothing else to be done. The SBDC has more than 30 offices in the state of Illinois. Surely one of them can help you. Good luck.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.