I have a service contract
with an Arkansas county for over 24 years. I was recently informed that a municipal court or district court judge had decided to cancel or give my contract to a competing company. The Arkansas state constitution allows counties to contract for services (privatization) for one year. If the county is displeased with services the county judge is required ,in our contract, 3 months notice that the contract will not be renewed. As I understand, if the notice is not given the contract automatically renews. I have, in good faith continued providing services in bad times as well as good. I've suffered losses, incurred overhead expenses, insurance, bond, payroll, supplies, etc. thru the rumor mill I was told that the criminal judge (misdemeanor court) was unhappy with our companies services and intended to "give" my contract to competitor. However the competitor wants to hire my employee of 17 years and is the sole agent in this county for us and provides our services. This employee is under a non-compete, that has been tested and we won.
I gathered my records and found that our case load has dwindled to ninety cases over the last few years. At one time we grossed well over $100,000.00 and now it , this year, is down to less than $30,009.00. Not enough to pay my employees salary let a lone my overhead.
Records show , it appears, that our caseload/business
has been dwindling not because of the economy but because cases we are under contract to supervise have been given to the competing company. Is this a case of tortious interference? If so, is it civil only.
In the private sector this could be considered embezzlement. I wrote the legislation that provided for this program. I've been doing this work and more for 35 years. I've not fired one person during this economy, I've taken the hits and made the sacrifices, if there is no moral justice do I have a legal recourse.? I'm just a person, a mother, I still have children in college. Please tell me if I have any hope of help. This will have a harsh impact on my othe contracts and I could loose all my business. I started this when I was 22 I have invested, nurtured, grew it, put hundreds of thousands of dollars in it to get this far. This competitor has only been in this three years(?) and is only going after my courts/contracts and is a police officer as well as a friend of the court. This is just wrong on so many levels. If my records are right it is possible that the judge was or is in collusion to take my company. Knowingly or not. I was taught that "Ignorance of the Law is no excuse nor defense"