A California judge blasted Los Angeles County public health officials’ outdoor dining ban as an “abuse of the Department’s emergency powers" in a temporary ruling issued Tuesday that sided with restaurants.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant said the ban “is not grounded in science, evidence, or logic, and should be adjudicated to be unenforceable as a matter of law."
Outdoor dining will not be able to resume immediately, however, because the Stay at Home order is still in effect.
Bill Melugin of Fox 11 Los Angeles broke down exactly what the preliminary injunction means.
This does not mean outdoor dining will be able to return right now, because the state Stay at home order is still in effect. However, the judge is restricting L.A. County from continuing the ban indefinitely. It will end on 12/16 and can't be reimposed until an analysis. @FOXLA— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 8, 2020
This is not FINAL. This is the judge’s temporary decision that he has sent to both sides of the litigation for them to review. There is formal hearing at 1:30pm today, and things could change, but there is where the judge’s mind is at right now, ruling against L.A. County @FOXLA— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 8, 2020
In a nutshell...what this ruling means, if it sticks, is that once the state Stay at Home order drops, outdoor dining will return to L.A. County, unless the county is able to provide an "appropriate risk-benefit analysis" and change the judge's mind. @FOXLA— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 8, 2020
Remember when L.A. County Supervisor @SheilaKuehl claimed to have "six studies" showing evidence of outdoor dining risk? Curiously, none of it appears in the "County evidence" section of this ruling. Actually, it says studies show COVID is less likely to spread outdoors. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/Eq9AJr32P3— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 8, 2020
Even before the judge's temporary decision, Slapfish owner Andrew Gruel openly defied the ban on outdoor dining, pointing to the hypocrisy from elected leaders and the rules they impose, and the lack of scientific evidence to support the order.
.@ChefGruel: "It's crystal clear... elected officials are owned by corporate America or Silicon Valley, perhaps the entertainment industry— the rules don't apply to them.— Carly Ortiz-Lytle (@intlcarly) December 9, 2020
But they obviously apply to all of us small businesses, and we're getting crushed..." pic.twitter.com/YGc7XCTqJd