* October 7…
A lawyer representing three Rockford restaurants has submitted a cease and desist letter to the Winnebago County Health Department, claiming intimidation tactics in the enforcement of Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest coronavirus mitigation orders.
Thomas DeVore, Managing Attorney of Silver Lake Group, Ltd., sent a letter addressed to WCHD Director Dr. Sandra Martell on Wednesday, on behalf of Fozzy’s Bar & Grill, Nora’s Place and Casey’s Pub.
Nick Fosberg, the owner of Fozzy’s Bar and Grill, says he wants proof that restaurants and bars are the reason behind the spike.
* October 14…
The Winnebago County Health Department is taking enforcement action against some locally owned businesses for continued defiance of Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest Region 1 COVID-19 restrictions.
On Wednesday, Neighbor’s Bar and Grill, Fozzy’s Bar and Grill, and Doc’s Diner were all given Order of Closures by the WCHD.
Health officials say that “a reasonable belief exists that the premises identified in this Order has engaged or is suspected of engaging in a significant amount of activity likely to spread the following dangerously contagious or infectious disease: COVID-19.”
* Meanwhile, background is here if you need it. Doug Finke…
Attorneys argued over the extent of Gov. JB Pritzker’s emergency authority Wednesday, but will have to wait on a decision in the case.
Sangamon County Circuit Judge Raylene Grishow said she will rule as soon as possible, but it appears that won’t happen for more than a week. She gave attorneys until Oct. 23 to submit final paperwork that could be used in her decision.
Grishow heard arguments on three issues Wednesday, the biggest being whether lawsuits filed in six counties challenging Pritzker’s authority to issue stay at home orders and other measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic should be dismissed. […]
Pritzker’s attorneys initially argued that DeVore shouldn’t be allowed to make oral arguments Wednesday because he missed deadlines to file briefs, deadlines Grishow said would be strictly enforced. Grishow said that while she wanted her
deadlines met, she could allow DeVore to make his case.
He’s had how long to prepare briefs and still missed the deadline after a warning from the judge?
* Capitol News Illinois…
During a hearing Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Darren Kinkead argued that all of the cases should be dismissed because, in the case of public health emergencies, the state’s Emergency Management Act gives the governor broad authority to act proactively in order to prevent the spread of a disease.
Specifically, the law allows for the declaration of a public health emergency whenever there is “widespread exposure to an infectious or other toxic agent that poses a significant risk of substantial future harm to a large number of people in the affected population.”
Kinkead argued that it was “legally irrelevant” whether or not there have been a large number of cases or deaths in a particular county because the statute requires only the existence of widespread exposure and a risk of substantial future harm.
And even if the plaintiffs could get past that hurdle, Kinkead argued, the cases should still be dismissed because the plaintiffs had not provided evidence that there is no public health emergency in their county. […]
As the hearing ended, Judge Raylene D. Grischow said she intends to rule within the next two or three weeks. She gave attorneys on both sides until Oct. 23 to submit proposed orders. She said she will use one of the proposals as the basis for the final order.