Ventura County filing suits against 18 businesses for operating indoors

January 18, 2021

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Ventura County is in the process of filing lawsuits against 18 businesses — 14 gyms and four restaurants — for operating indoors in violation of Coronavirus-related public health orders. [VC Star]

On Jan. 5, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to direct county attorneys to sue House of Gains in Port Hueneme, Colosseum Bootcamp in Oxnard, two Ventura locations of Anytime Fitness, The Pizza Cookery in Thousand Oaks and one location each of Fitness 19 in Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley. Ventura County filed suits against those businesses on Jan. 8.

Then last Tuesday, the board of supervisor voted 4-1 to sue Allison’s Country Cafe in Ventura, Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut in Oxnard, Good Morning Cafe in Camarillo, Gold’s Gym in Thousand Oaks, the Oxnard and Camarillo locations of Fitness 19 and four locations of Anytime Fitness — two in the Conejo Valley and one each in Camarillo and Simi Valley. Attorneys have yet to complete the complaints against those businesses, but once they do so, the lawsuits will be filed in Ventura County Superior Court.

Supervisor Bob Huber cast the dissenting votes against the lawsuits.

In each case, Ventura County is seeking the court to issue a temporary restraining order against the business and ultimately a permanent injunction barring operations. Officials have already temporarily suspended, and could potentially revoke, the health permits for the four restaurants the county is suing.

A few of the business owners involved in the litigation said they are ready to fight for their livelihood and to stand against government overreach.

Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy, an attorney representing the owner of Colosseum Bootcamp in Oxnard, said there are several constitutional arguments against the orders barring indoor operations, including the so-called takings clause under the Fifth Amendment. The government cannot take property without compensating the owner for it, Baldwin-Kennedy argued. Businesses are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and are being forced to close without any government support, the attorney said.

Acting Ventura County Counsel Michael Walker, however, said constitutional arguments do not apply when there is a public safety regulation. Walker also said there is no argument supported by law requiring the government to make a direct showing between an outbreak and a business.

Ventura County officials also say most local restaurants are complying with coronavirus rules.

Along with San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, Ventura County has tried to break away from the Southern California region, which is currently under a stay-at-home order, and form a new Central Coast region. Efforts to form the Central Coast region have thus far been unsuccessful.


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Rambunctious

Elected officials ruling instead of governing…vote them out…how dare they crush these peoples lives like this….


Apolitical

Well, we have finally reached the point of death for the frog in the boiling water, from a national level down to the local level.


horse_soldier

Rules and regulations brought down on us by those who’s bank accounts haven’t skipped a beat (or missed a deposit). Yeah right we’re all in this together…hardly.

IF they had any $kin in the game you can damn well bet they’d feel differently.


LameCommenter

“Acting Ventura County Counsel Michael Walker, however, said constitutional arguments do not apply when there is a public safety regulation.”


Wait, so podunk San Buena Ventura’s regulations trump the Constitution? If you’re certain, Rita Neal has a job for you son, if you ever leave the Ventura job. Bring your dubious legal reasoning with you. You will fit right in….. Or picturesque San Simeon, or….


derasmus

Agreed, County Council Walker should have his law license called into question. While the law is not exact, even after Marshall law has been declared, authorities are required to follow the State and Federal Constitution. Last I checked the “takings” clause of the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution has not been dissolved and still applies, even during a public health emergency. Messy I know but it is what it is.


ddc1983

I wonder what the Ventura County Board of Supervisors would do if the governor put their jobs on his shutdown list and they had to indefinitely go without pay… while continuing to make rent payments on shuttered properties.


Mitch C

Ventura County files suit against 28 businesses trying to make a living, provide stability and a paycheck for their employees, and put food on their tables. How does this action give any relief, assistance or hope to the business owners involved. ANSWER: it does not, it only gives them one more roadblock to deal with.