2nd judge denies temporary restraining order for Shelby County businesses that sued to reopen

Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 11:39 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A second federal judge has denied a request for a temporary restraining order filed on behalf of a group of businesses in Shelby County.

It’s one of two lawsuits against the Shelby County government and health department filed earlier this month by limited-service restaurants and bars forced to close by a Shelby County public health directive.

In the suit filed by an attorney representing Blind Bear, Max’s Sports Bar, Silly Goose, Alchemy, Dru’s Place, Stage 64 Lounge, Cheers of Milligan and the Hi Tone Cafe, the businesses claimed they were singled out to close when the county began experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, but the request for a temporary restraining order says there was no evidence the businesses were responsible for the increase.

Judge John Fowlkes Jr. denied the request Thursday.

“As sympathetic as the Court is with Plaintiffs and other businesses adversely affected by COVID-19, sympathy cannot play a role in determining the legality of Health Order No. 8,” reads Fowlkes’ order.

A day earlier, Judge Jon McCalla denied a similar request from a second group of businesses.

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