Tuesday, July 7, 2020

BREAKING UPDATE: Mountainside Fitness Unable To Close By 2pm Today, Promises To Get Them Closed By 8pm; Judge Wants Proof On His Desk Wednesday

UPDATE, 2:30pm: BREAKING UPDATE: Mountainside Fitness Unable To Close By 2pm Today, Promises To Get Them Closed By 8pm; Judge Wants Proof On His Desk Wednesday

Arizona and Mountainside Fitness had its 2nd court hearing in two days this afternoon, and had to revise its promised closing time to comply with Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order.

After this morning's decision (below) refusing the fitness centers' request to halt the Executive Order, Mountainside CEO Tom Hatten announced that it would close all 18 of its gyms by 2pm today.

In court this afternoon on the Department of Health Services' separate suit to shut Mountainside down, Hatten's attorney explained that only one center closed by 2pm, and that they needed until 8pm to close the other gyms. (No reason for the change was given, or asked for.)

Mountainside also agreed that they will not re-open any of its gyms until given the go-ahead by either the Governor, AZDHS or a court.

Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley ordered that Hatten provide an affidavit confirming the re-closures by 9am, and set a follow-up hearing for one hour later.

AZDHS was not willing to take Mountainside's word for it regarding the closures because of the "very public refusal to abide by the Governor's Executive Order", said AZDHS attorney Craig Morgan.

For its part, Mountainside vowed to continue to fight the State's decisions - both the one to shut down all fitness centers until at least July 27, and the decision to file a civil enforcement action against only Mountainside ("That's how bad this was," said attorney David Schwartz.)

Original article, 7/7 at 9:45am: "BREAKING: Judge DENIES Mountainside's & EoS's request for a TRO preventing Arizona from temporarily shutting down gyms. (READ 13-page ruling)"

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order shutting down indoor gyms remains in effect this morning, after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge this morning denied a request for a Temporary Restraining Order by Mountainside Fitness and EoS.

Judge Tim Thomason issued a thorough analysis of the issues, after reading the parties' pleadings over the weekend, and hearing oral arguments yesterday. He felt that the State had a rational basis for issuing the order last week, and that the gyms were unlikely to prove that their due process and equal protection rights were violated.

Thomason also set a status conference for Thursday, to see how the parties wish to proceed.

Here is our article with more details about yesterday's hearing.

Other developments occurred yesterday, as well. The Arizona Department of Health Services filed a civil action in Superior Court to shut Mountainside down. There is a hearing this afternoon on that case.

And, U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa set a hearing for next Monday morning in the suit brought by a chain of boutique fitness centers (Club Pilates, Pure Barre, more).

(This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.)

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