Nevada County restaurant owners file lawsuit against Gov. Newsom over COVID-19 restrictions

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NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – A group of restaurant owners in Nevada County is filing a federal lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom and the Nevada County Board of Supervisors over COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking to a group of 50 or so people, many who were not wearing masks, members of the Nevada County California Restaurant Coalition announced a federal lawsuit they filed to stop COVID-19 restrictions from being applied to their businesses.

“The complaint has been filed in federal court, in the eastern district of California. It names the governor of California as well as various public officials from the California Department of Public Health and Health and Human Service Agency as defendants,” said Nathan Harpainter, attorney at law.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors and county public health administrators are also named in the lawsuit.

It claims COVID-19 restrictions placed on their restaurants violate the owner’s constitutional rights.

“And this complaint intends to show that these various restrictions issued by the state and local government will not pass the standard of review,” Harpainter explained.

The coalition says it has 11 members and is reaching out to gain more.

At least two of those members, Old Town Cafe in Grass Valley and Friar Tuck’s in Nevada City, had their food facility permits suspended this summer for failing to comply with state COVID-19 restrictions.

Thursday, the owners of both those restaurants defended their actions, claiming the state had no right to set those restrictions.

“To keep people outside when we’re going through a two-week heat wave where it’s over 95 every day. The amount of fans and coolers and it’s just constant,” Chad Paige, general manager of Friar Tuck’s, told FOX40.

But when asked what COVID-19 restrictions would be appropriate, the owners did not have specifics.

“I think that what we would like to see is at least a version where we can actually get back to normal,” said Robin Buckman, owner of Old Town Cafe. “At this point, there is no version where restaurants can be at 100%. No version of that at all.”

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