Administrative Law First Day Problem

You run a word processing service for law students. Students drop off longhand or typed manuscripts or leave tapes of oral material to be transcribed. You and a few part-time employees working for you keyboard the material on hard copy and transcribe the material on tape returning to the customers' diskettes with word processing files, printed hard copy, or both. Your agreement with the customers provides for you to be paid one cent per word. Your word processing software calculates the number of words in a document, and you have written a macro that causes the number of words to be printed on the last page of each document generated for a customer.

A person has shown up at your office door and has forced his way into the office. He alleges that the software routine that counts the number of words may be inaccurate. He insists, first, on being allowed to test the word counting procedure and if he finds it inaccurate he intends to seize all of your computer hardware and software. He identifies himself as the "sealer" for the City of Evanston, in Cook County. Your office and all of its personnel, and equipment is located in Wheaton, in DuPageCounty.

Using the statutes and Restatement of Torts excerpts accompanying this problem, identify the arguments that you and the sealer would make in opposing or justifying what the sealer wants to do. Be sure to identify not only substantive legal arguments but also procedural avenues for resolving conflicting arguments and positions. In other words, what do you do if the Sealer persists and physically tries to seize your hardware and software?