Thursday, July 2, 2020

UPDATE: Monday Morning (7/13) Hearing Set On Boutique Gyms' Challenge Of Governor's Shutdown Order

UPDATE, 7/6/20, 5pm: UPDATE: Monday Morning (7/13) Hearing Set On Boutique Gyms' Challenge Of Governor's Shutdown Order

Judge Diane Humetewa has set a hearing for Monday morning, July 13, on Xponential Fitness's request for a TRO against Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order shutting down indoor fitness centers. The hearing will come after Superior Court Judge Tim Thomason will rule on similar issues, so the question will be whether the two judges reach different conclusions on the very similar challenges.

Original article, 7/2/20: BREAKING: Rebellion of the (Boutique) Gyms, Part II: Federal Suit Filed Challenging Governor Ducey's Pandemic Shutdown Order (READ Complaint)

If Mountainside Gyms' Tuesday challenge against  Doug Ducey's order shutting down gyms was a power move, this federal court challenge filed against the Arizona Governor by Xponential Fitness is more of a stretch.
From Club Pilates, pre-pandemic

You may not have heard of Xponential Fitness, but they seem to be the Fox Restaurants of Arizona's fitness scene. They already have 50 fitness studios in Arizona - unlike Fox, they are franchises - in the niche areas of Pilates, cycle, dance, rowing, stretch and yoga.* They indicate they served 20,000 Arizonans last year and employed 750.

Like Mountainside's suit, Xponential is claiming that the Governor's Monday Executive Order requiring bars, gyms, water parks, movie theaters and tubing operations violates their constitutional rights to due process. It also notes that the Governor had previously permitted gyms to re-open if they put several safety measures into effect.

This suit also points out several ways that the Order is too vague. Specifically, it notes that the Order does not define " “[i]ndoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers”, what it means by "pause operations", and what kind of "form" needs to be submitted to be authorized to re-re-open. It also claims that the duration of the order is vague when it purports to run “until at least July 27, 2020.”

Xponential is represented by the national Venable firm, out of Los Angeles. Mountainside claimed to have partnered with the Goldwater Institute and is represented by Mesa firm Udall Shumway.

Lifetime Fitness, a national chain and another major player in the Phoenix market, has informed "AZ Law" that while they support these challenges, they are not attempt to legally join the court fight.

Many other fitness center chains and individual locations have abided by the Governor's Order, and Monday's hearing in the Mountainside case will be closely watched by all of the exercise facilities whether or not they are re-opened. (Not to mention the bars, the movie theaters, etc.)

*Pure Barre, Club Pilates, AKT (dance-based cardio), CycleBar, Yoga Six, Row House, and Stretch Lab.

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc.

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  1. How do other fitness studios join in?

    1. I would contact the lawyer listed for the gyms on the first page, see if you can find out.


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