Judge Rules That Springfield Area Restaurants Defying State Mitigations Must Close

By Benjamin Cox on November 17, 2020 at 1:55pm

Judge Raylene Grischow ruled at 1PM this afternoon that Charlie Parker’s, D&J Cafe, Fox Run, and Sweet Basil Cafe had violated county code by remaining open after having their licenses suspended over the weekend by the Sangamon County Health Department. Casa Real was the fifth restaurant that was ticketed over the weekend, but they were not mentioned in the ruling.

Charlie Parker’s, Fox Run, and Sweet Basil Cafe were all represented by Thomas DeVore who spoke on the issue last night in Jacksonville at Bogart’s Banquet Hall. He was joined by Fox Run owner Keith Ayre last night during his presentation at Bogart’s. DeVore’s defense centered around the fact that Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive order increasing mitigations on Region 3, which covers West Central Illinois, was to cease indoor bar and dining service earlier this month after a spike in COVID-19 cases. DeVore says that the Illinois Public Health Act does not grant the governor the authority to close any businesses.

DeVore argues the ability to close a business by the state is through a judicial process through the courts and local health departments. DeVore says clear and defining evidence must be brought by the state or county health department saying that a clear danger lies in an establishment before it can be shut down. DeVore says that the State of Illinois has violated the right to due process by commanding businesses to close under the emergency declarations and executive orders. Up until today, the state had not closed a business after being ticketed for not following the extra mitigations.

DeVore says he and his clients plan to appeal this decision, possibly to the Illinois Appellate Court and further up if need be.