Could it be argued that it is simply a business that competes in a market of other private businesses and therefore is not considered a government agency, such as a police station or correctional facility, that can collect a debt from a tax return without a court order?
I am not sure of your question, but can assure you that if the county owns and runs an organization facility that it is government entity. I am not sure about the collection aspect. If you have a bill I recommend that you contact a lawyer in person to see if they can assist you with the resolution of the matter.
AVVO DISCLAIMER I am licensed in Minnesota only and my answers on Avvo assume Minnesota law. The answers I provide are for general information only and are NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and therefore must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interaction between an attorney and client and specific exact facts and the law. I do not retain clients without a signed RETAINER AGREEMENT. The Avvo forum does not allow for the discussion and the interaction necessary to form a complete legal analysis. Therefore the answers given to any specific question would most likely be different if there was attorney-client interaction. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such an attorney client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged nor are they confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and statutory time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in the answers to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an qualified attorney for legal advice licensed in the proper jurisdiction. Finally, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.
It either is our it isn't. It cannot pick and choose when it wants to be because it suits its purposes. So yes, it can offset your refund, but it can also be sued as a state actor, for example. If it weren't a governmental entity, it would have maintained this in court long ago.
Criminal Defense Attorney
A county is a unit of government, and I can see nothing in your facts that would show otherwise. If you have a bill, pay it, or if you cannot or dispute it, see a collections attorney. Often, bills from hospitals can be negotiated and reduced or can be paid over time. If you used services, you have a moral obligation to pay for them.
We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.