Tuesday, June 30, 2020

UPDATE: Court Sets Monday Morning Emergency Hearing On Challenge (READ Complaint, TRO Request)

(Update, July 6: Coverage from the emergency hearing can be found here.)

UPDATE, 7/1, 10:15a.m.: Court Sets Monday Morning Emergency Hearing On Challenge
Judge Timothy Thomason has quickly set an emergency hearing on Mountainside's challenge to Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order shutting down Arizona gyms. He has called the parties into his (virtual) courtroom for first thing Monday morning hearing.

Mountainside indicated yesterday that the chain was working with the conservative Goldwater Institute on the quick challenge to Monday's Executive Order. However, the Institute has denied being involved. One of the attorneys filing the case yesterday indicates in his firm biography that he has long been involved in conservative issues, and it is possible that Mountainside was referred to him by someone at the Goldwater Institute.

Original Article: BREAKING: Mountainside Fitness Sues State Over Shutdown, Violates Due Process; Lifetime Will Join Suit (READ Complaint, TRO Request)

Mountainside Fitness, one of the largest chains of gyms in the state, has filed a lawsuit against Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's new Executive Order shutting down all gyms for at least 30 days, as a way of slowing down the outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Arizona's Law confirmed this evening that Lifetime Fitness, one of the other largest players in Arizona, is going to join the lawsuit tomorrow. Other media outlets have reported that other gyms are also defying Monday's Executive Order.

Governor Ducey announced the closure after 3pm yesterday, and said it would be effective at 8pm that evening. (You can read the Executive Order here.)

Lifetime was especially irked that the order included gymnasiums along with bars and water parks. Noting the special anti-viral chemicals and cleaning procedures that LTF is using continuously during the day, Lifetime Tempe General Manager Steve Getz said "We don't agree with being lumped in with bars."

Mountainside's lawsuit (h/t to Brahm Resnik) was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, and includes a request for a 30-day pause on the closure, to give the judge a chance to conduct an immediate court hearing on a Temporary Restraining Order request.

It notes that fitness centers were allowed to reopen in May as part of Phase 1, and that bars were not included at that time. The suit also notes that the reopening was permitted conditioned on gyms taking steps to minimize the possible spread of the virus. Noting that Mountainside took such steps, the suit claims that the no-notice shutdown on Monday violated substantive and procedural due process rights guaranteed by the state Constitution, and that it incorrectly treats the fitness centers the same as the bars.

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