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Lawrence Establishment Sues Douglas County

An establishment that’s been open in Lawrence since 1989 is suing Douglas County over an order by the Lawrence-Douglas County health officer.

Peach Madl, owner of the Sandbar, and the Kansas Justice Institute filed the suit, claiming the health officer’s order disregards Constitutional rights such as due process and equal protection.

The Centers for Disease Control guidelines note that indoor gatherings are more risky than outdoor gatherings, due to greater difficulty in achieving social distancing, plus ventilation issues.

However, the latest health order by the health officer prohibits a bar from using outdoor seating after midnight, but permits certain indoor restaurants to remain open.

Madl and KJI note that there’s no mechanism to challenge the restaurant and bar curfew order, violating their right to due process.

According to a press release from KJI, the Lawrence-Douglas Health Department has indicated that businesses in violation of the health order may be closed, and individuals may be subject to a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in jail.

Earlier this year, KJI successfully challenged a Linn County health officer’s order on a different issue.


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