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St. Louis County accuses defiant gyms of using 'delay tactics'

House of Pain owner Joe Corbett has complained that liquor stores have been deemed essential, while gyms have not
Credit: SLBJ
The House of Pain gym, with locations in Chesterfield and Maryland Heights, announced they will stay open, despite getting a cease and desist letter from St. Louis County.

ST. LOUIS — A state court judge made no decision Monday on whether to grant a temporary restraining order against two gyms that have defied a St. Louis County stay-at-home order.

An attorney for House of Pain, with locations in Chesterfield and Maryland Heights, filed to remove the case to federal court in St. Louis, arguing that a closure of the businesses was likely to cost them more than $75,000, an available legal tactic to switch jurisdictions.

The filing, by Chris McDonough, came just before a hearing in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

An attorney for the county, Steven Capizzi, said it showed again that McDonough was interested only in "delay tactics."

But Capizzi said the county would be prepared to make its argument in federal court, where a judge has already upheld its stay-at-home order, modified to begin reopening as of Monday. It still does not allow gyms to operate.

Circuit Judge Robert Heggie said Monday that he could take up the matter again only if the federal court sends it back to state court.

Federal court records showed no hearing scheduled in the case as of 11 a.m.

The county on May 11 sued to close the gyms, but the case was delayed after McDonough requested a different judge and then argued Friday that the county had sued the wrong entity.

House of Pain owner Joe Corbett has complained that liquor stores have been deemed essential, while gyms have not.

RELATED: Hearing on defiant gyms is delayed as county sued wrong entity

RELATED: St. Louis County files lawsuit against gyms that remain open, defying orders

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