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Owners of Restaurant Shut Down by Government Fight Back

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The owners of a Colorado restaurant that staged a very public defiance of the state’s lockdown order on Mother’s Day have sued the state, saying that their rights were violated.

“The matter before this honorable court is more than just a case of executive authority overreach and constitutional violations. It implicates core principles of our nation’s founding and the rule of law,” the lawsuit said.

C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock became a lightning rod and a civil disobedience icon when pictures of its crowded dining room went viral, according to KMGH-TV in Denver.

“I joined most Coloradans in our frustration watching videos of people illegally packed into restaurants and thinking about all the moms and grandmothers and aunts and everyone who was put at increased risk of dying from this horrible virus,” Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said at the time, according to KCNC-TV in Denver.

As a result, the state acted to suspend the restaurant’s license indefinitely. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has that authority under the Colorado Food Protection Act.

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However, the lawsuit filed Friday in Douglas County District Court by attorney Randy Corporon on behalf of restaurant owners Jesse and April Arellano alleges that Polis and his administration exceeded their authority.

“These small businesses, especially restaurants with small margins, simply cannot survive waiting and waiting and waiting,” Corporon said, according to KUSA-TV.

“We’re starting with simply asking a judge to say enough is enough,” he said. “It’s time to open Colorado.”


The lawsuit puts the state’s actions in the context of the government being brought to heel by the judicial branch to restrain the “abuse of executive authority and declare null and void those actions which violate the rights and liberties guaranteed in the Constitution.”

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The suit said the “heavy-handed” actions of the governor to shutter the restaurant came with the state’s understanding that the action would deprive the Arellanos “of their livelihood and ability to operate their business after they simply allowed customers onto their premises to serve food and beverages.”

The lawsuit said the restaurant was singled out for persecution, calling the decision to shut it down “an unconscionable and malicious act designed with the specific intent to punish Plaintiffs rather than abate an ‘imminent’ health hazard.”

“Certainly, the Plaintiffs opening their restaurant to customers, when so many other businesses are permitted to open their doors to customers, does not constitute an ‘imminent health threat,'” the suit said.

Arellanos Lawsuit by The Western Journal on Scribd

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The lawsuit disputed how the state interpreted which businesses were essential and which were not in its actions under the Colorado Disaster Emergency Relief Act.

“Nothing within the enabling legislation of the Act provides that the Governor may issue such comprehensive orders and regulations that discriminate between ‘critical’ and ‘non-critical’ services, dictate strict limitations on how businesses must operate, and/or selectively target certain businesses, or a single business, for enforcement or punishment,” the lawsuit said.

“At best, the legislation allows for rules of general applicability over a certain ‘area’ but not the type of intrusive micromanagement over the economy and individual business operations that the Governor seeks to impose,” it said.

“The practical consequence, as is the case with the Plaintiffs, is that the government’s arbitrary designation between ‘critical’ and ‘non-critical’ entities means the government is picking and choosing who has the opportunity to continue to remain open and potentially operate at a profit and those who will be doomed to bankruptcy and economic ruin,” the lawsuit said.

Last week, Polis amended his existing order to allow restaurants to open as of Wednesday as long as they limit seating to 50 percent of maximum occupancy or 50 people, whichever is fewer.

KCNC-TV said it reached out to the governor for comment on the Arellanos’ lawsuit and was told by a spokesman that “his office will not comment on pending litigation.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
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Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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