Maricopa County Superior Court Denies Injunction Against Bar Closures

Judge Pamela Gates of Maricopa County Superior Court denied the request of 100 bars to toss the emergency restrictions placed on bars. A copy of her ruling can be found here. There are helpful articles (1, 2) that summarize her 14 page opinion.

At this stage she is denying the emergency relief and appears to raise a high hurdle for ultimate success for the plaintiffs from the information summarized in the newspaper articles. Plaintiffs still may be able to prevail at a trial but that would not give them the emergency relief they seek so they presumably will seek an emergency appeal to a higher court.

One item noted was that the court did find that one of the emergency relief measures put forth by the state was likely outside of state authority. The state’s decision to allow restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages to go “impermissibly stretches” the powers of the governor. Current Arizona law likely prohibits that “to go” practice from restaurants.

(previous post) Arizona AG Files Brief Opposing Blanket COVID-Related Shutdown of Bars

A group of bars have filed a lawsuit challenging the Arizona Governor’s declaration of emergency and shutting down certain on premise drinking establishments. The lawsuits were filed after certain categories of establishments that sell alcohol were forced to be closed but others such as taprooms, tasting rooms, hotel bars and wineries were allowed to stay open.

In its brief, the Arizona Attorney General’s office sided with the plaintiff bars and called the state’s action arbitrary and capricious. It argues the Governor exceeded his authority because it arbitrary treated similarly situated business.

An injunctive hearing was scheduled for later today on this.

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