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Can a business post a sign refusing service to me?

Greeley, CO |

I bounced a check at a local liquor store not intentionally was a money mistake on my part. I took care of it in a timely manner. The owner of the store contacted me before i could go in and pay it threatning to call the police etc... I did go in right away and take care of the check plus the stores fees. When I went in there was a big sign on the wall visible for all to see with mine and my husbands name on it stating that we are not welcome and not allowed in the store. Is that legal to post a sign with our names for the public to see? We live in a small town and it is embarrassing, wondered if legally the owner can do that. I understand she is upset that I bounced a check but wondered if I had any rights in the posting of the sign.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. There is no law that prevents them from posting a sign saying you are not allowed. Is it childish, stupid, and poor business? Yes. Is it illegal? Nope.

    I would just go in sometime when they are not busy and apologize and ask that they remove the sign. Good luck.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Put this in a letter to the editor of the local newspaper and you can be pretty sure the sign will come down. Of course, that depends on how you word the letter.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

  3. Nothing stops a business from excluding a named person from their premises, and nothing stops the business from posting notice of that. If the notice contains provably false damaging information about you, posted with knowledge of the falsity or in reckless disregard of the truth, then you might be able to sue for money damages or for the sign to come down. But, if the sign contains no provably false damaging information, then you have no lawsuit. In that case, I would follow the advice of the other attorney and try to use persuasion to get the store to reconsider the posting of the sign. If the store continues to refuse, remember that you also are allowed to post signs about them, on your own property, and you can write newspapers, etc. with criticisms of the business, under the same terms: nothing you know to be false or made in reckless disregard of the truth.

    Contact me at 248-399-6930 for a free consultation. You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.

  4. If the contents of the sign do not state false facts then no law prevents them from posting it. If it states false facts then it might be defamatory. But if all it says is you are not welcome, then that is not a statement of fact upon which you could sue. Why not organize some friends to boycott the store for their business practices and see if you can get them to bring the sign down.

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