Legal Battle Continues with Curfew Enforcements

December 07, 2020

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Legal Battle Continue With Curfew EnforcementsState agents might report bar and restaurant owners in Oklahoma City for breaking the 11:00 PM curfew. In an article written by Josh Dulaney titled, OKC Ends COVID Curfew Enforcement on Bars, but Legal Battle Continues published by The Oklahoman, stated that the latest legal dispute regarding the sale of alcohol in bars started on November 19th when Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced a $750 fine and up to six months in jail to an existing ban by Governor Kevin Stitt on food and alcohol sales after 11:00 PM for at least 30 days amid the pandemic.

At a November news conference, Holt announced a 10-day campaign asking residents to intensify their vigilance to stem surging cases of the coronavirus. After the 10-day period, Holt issued a new emergency proclamation removing local enforcement of Governor Stitt's Executive Order to stop on-site food and alcohol sales at bars and restaurants after 11:00 PM. Following the emergency proclamation, a group of club owners and bartenders sued Mayor Holt, the city of Oklahoma City, and Police Chief Wade Gourley in state court to halt the mandate. The article states Oklahoma District Court Judge Richard C. Ogden denied the temporary injunction request, citing Holt's revised proclamation of eliminating local police enforcement, from attorney Frank Urbanic who is representing the plaintiffs. The lawsuit is still expected to make its way through court.

The argument that the group is making is that if Holt's order falls outside the state's 1968 Riot Control and Prevention Act (RCPA). They argue the RCPA was passed to fight civil disorder, not infectious diseases and pandemics, pointing out the civil unrest that occurred in the 60s like the Vietnam War protests and the assassinations of JFK and MLK Jr. The city's court response says that the mayor's proclamation found the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the coronavirus to be a public disaster "which affects the life, health, prosperity and public peace within Oklahoma City."

To read the full article, please click on the link provided above or here: OKC Ends COVID Curfew Enforcement on Bars, but Legal Battle Continues




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