FoxFire v. Pritzker: Illinois courts continue to agree with pandemic restrictions

On February 2, the Illinois Appellate Court issued its opinion in the Geneva Restaurant case, Fox Fire Tavern v. Pritzker, 2020 IL App (2d) 200623 and dissolved the previously imposed Temporary Restraining Order against the Governor, State, and Departments of Public Health.

Essentially, the Appellate Court found that the District Court overstepped its authority and abused its discretion finding that Fox Fire had a reasonable likelihood of success in granting a Temporary Restraining Order against the Governor and Departments of Public Health enacting COVID-19 mitigations harming restaurants. The Appellate Court did not resolve the issue of whether the Restaurant Limitations Orders were reasonable, nor whether the measures amounted to a full business closure and left these arguments to another day. (This matter was previously decided by the Appellate Court back in November 2020 in an unpublished decision, but the Governor requested that the Appellate Court publish the decision for precedential purposes.)

It is expected that Fox Fire will appeal this decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In the meantime, a restaurant wishes to pursue an action to enjoin the Governor and Departments of Public Health, it would behoove them to compile sufficient facts supporting a position that the existing data and statistics do not support shutting down restaurants as opposed to other businesses.

A full copy of the decision can be found here

Written by Richard W. Warner, Partner

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