Court hearing Monday morning in lawsuit against state over in-person dining ban

Court hearing Monday morning in lawsuit against state over in-person dining ban
Posted at 6:47 AM, Nov 30, 2020

A court hearing is scheduled Monday in federal court in the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association lawsuit against the state over new COVID-19 restrictions.

Related: Judge denies request for stay on ban onf in-person dining at Michigan restaurants

The motion hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in federal court in Kalamazoo.

Two weeks ago, the MRLA filed the lawsuit against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon over the 3-week pause that went into effect a few weeks ago that halted in-person dining at Michigan restaurants.

The MRLA said it offered to reduce capacity, which was already at 50%, and implement a curfew, but indoor dining was forced to stop. The MRLA said it fears possible restaurant closures due to the pause.

On Nov. 20, the federal judge denied the MRLA's request to allow in-person dining and put a stay on the MDHHS order while the lawsuit was heard in court.

According to the judge, the MRLA didn't give enough evidence that would allow for a temporary restraining order.

"We have taken this action only after careful deliberation and as the last available option to prevent the outright devastation of restaurant operators and their hundreds of thousands of employees across the state," MRLA President & CEO Justin Winslow said.

"We want to be clear that we made several good faith efforts in advance of the public release of the Order issued November 15 to reach a compromise with the MDHHS that would have supported the goal of minimizing risk while still allowing for the continued operation of dining rooms," Winslow said. "We are hopeful for a swift and decisive victory in court so restaurant operators may return to what we know they do best – adding value to our lives and our economy by providing a great meal and exceptional hospitality in a safe, socially distanced, sanitized and regulated environment."