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Illegal Pete’s sues Delaware officials over refusal to allow business operations due to chain’s name

Posted at 11:08 AM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 13:08:21-04

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A popular Colorado-based restaurant company is suing Delaware officials in federal court over their refusal to allow it to convert to a Delaware limited liability company.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday, Delaware officials have refused to accept business formation certificates from Illegal Pete's because the company's name has "a negative connotation" and "might cause harm to the interests of the public or the state."

The company claims Delaware officials are violating its free speech and due process rights.

The 23-year-old restaurant chain is named in honor of its founder's father, who is described on Illegal Pete's website as "a bit of a good-natured hell-raiser in his day."

A spokesman for Delaware's Division of Corporations said Tuesday that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.