Hearing scheduled for lawsuit challenging Va. business shutdown penalties

Hearing scheduled for lawsuit challenging Va. business shutdown penalties
A lawsuit challenging Governor Northam’s authority to impose criminal penalties on businesses and people under Executive Order 53 will be the focus of a court hearing Thursday in Culpeper County. (Source: Gray Media Group)

CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) - A lawsuit challenging Governor Northam’s authority to impose criminal penalties on businesses and people under Executive Order 53 will be the focus of a court hearing Thursday in Culpeper County.

The lawsuit was brought by Merrill C. “Sandy” Hall, owner of Gold’s Gym facilities throughout Virginia, and seeks a temporary and permanent injunction against the Governor to prevent the imposition of criminal penalties under the Order.

“We are gratified the Court understood the urgency of this matter by scheduling a prompt hearing,” Stanley said. “The Governor clearly overstepped his constitutional and statutory authority by imposing criminal penalties in Executive Order 53. To restore adherence to the Constitution and the Code, this matter needs a quick resolution in Mr. Hall’s favor.”

Northam ordered the closures of many “non-essential” businesses, including gyms, as a precaution against health risks from the coronavirus pandemic. The order was set to end April 23, but has since been extended to May 8.

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