San Diego appeals court overturns order allowing strip clubs and restaurants to reopen

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An appeals court overturned a San Diego judge ruling that allowed restaurants and strip clubs to reopen for indoor business statewide coronavirus restrictions, considering that he had issued an “injunction too broad which was not supported by the law”.

The annulment was pronounced Friday in response to a preliminary injunction granted by Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil last month, which said San Diego County “businesses with food service” were exempt from the restrictions COVID issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.

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The injunction also extended to two San Diego strip clubs, the Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club and Pacers Showgirls International after challenging the state’s response to the pandemic.

Pacer’s Showgirls International first challenged the state of California when the adult entertainment industry was excluded from the state’s pandemic plan to reopen.

Both establishments were frustrated that they were able to reopen the restaurant side of their businesses, but no “live adult entertainment,” the appeal decision.

The Pacers have submitted a decision to the County and City of San Diego, asking that they be allowed to operate their training business away from home, although this has been rescinded by the San Diego Police Department, which is responsible for adult entertainment licensing.

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They then offered to reopen indoors with a masked performer on stage with stringent sanitation practices – although they apparently never had a response from the state on that suggestion.

Frustrated by what they said was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech, they reopened their domestic business, despite “live entertainment in restaurants” being “banned”.

The two establishments were able to remain open for a month before receiving cease and desist letters.

The companies filed another complaint a month later, and were finally allowed to open temporarily after Wohlfeil’s decision.

But a formation of three judges of the 4th district court of appeal find Friday that Wohlfeil “violated due process by directing state and county parts to enforce restrictions on restaurants, and that part of the preliminary injunction must be quashed.”

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Strip clubs will be able to operate their restaurant business in accordance with current state protocols.

The decision ended by examining the high-risk nature of the coronavirus which is most aggressively transmitted through particles in the air and human-to-human contact.

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