ST. LOUIS — Two businesses are suing over the indefinite stay-at-home orders in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.
The owners at Anytime Fitness in Manchester and Elder’s Antiques on Cherokee Street filed a joint lawsuit Monday. It’s against St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, St. Louis County Department of Public Health Acting Director Dr. Emily Doucette, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Director of Health Dr. Fredrick Echols.
The businesses said the two jurisdictions have overstepped their authority in continuing local stay-at-home orders while the state of Missouri lifted its restriction.
“St. Louis County and City of St. Louis officials have issued orders that due to the coronavirus epidemic all non-essential businesses be closed. Under Missouri law, however, during a statewide pandemic only Dr. Randall Williams, the Missouri Director of Health and Senior Services, can order the closure of ‘places of public or private assembly’. The City and County Orders are therefore unlawful and should be enjoined by this court,” the lawsuit stated.
The antique shop and gym both fall under non-essential businesses, as outlined by the local orders. In their lawsuit, they state they want to reopen Tuesday, May 5.
In the court documents, the owners also said the orders violate their First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights, which state that no state should “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Missouri’s stay-at-home order expired Sunday night. However, while announcing the state’s plan for the first phase of reopening, Governor Mike Parson said local officials could establish their own regulations and ordinances as long as they were consistent with the statewide order.
"They can do stricter guidance," Parson said during a news conference. "They can’t be more relaxed, but they can do stricter."
As the state began reopening Monday, Mayor Krewson and County Executive Page said they plan to work together on a timeline for getting the St. Louis area economy going again. They hope to release more information later this week that could include a plan to begin reopening businesses in mid-May.
You can read the full lawsuit filed by Elder's Antiques and Anytime Fitness in the document below.