The Wabasha County District Court ordered a local gym to close its doors in response to a lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
The Plainview Wellness Center told Ellison’s office in late November that it planned to remain open in violation of Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders. Under Walz’s latest shutdown order, fitness centers are required to close their doors until Dec. 18, despite objections from gym owners who have pointed out that their industry is connected to just 747 COVID-19 cases in Minnesota.
Ellison filed a lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the gym from remaining open to the public. On Wednesday, the court issued a temporary injunction that requires the fitness center to close its doors through Dec. 18.
“I’m glad the court recognized the seriousness of the pandemic and the firm legal foundation of the State’s efforts to halt the spread of it,” Attorney General Ellison said in a statement.
According to his office, this marks the first enforcement action brought by Ellison under Walz’s new order, and the third since the start of the pandemic. His office has also threatened to sue a restaurant owner in Lynd, Minnesota, who opened her doors for in-person service.
“Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility,” Ellison added. “I thank the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that have complied with executive orders and done their part to stop it, and it’s my hope that all businesses will understand their responsibility to comply. I recognize the sacrifice that most businesses have made: they deserve assistance, not unfair competition.”
The Plainview Wellness Center is owned by Brandon Reiter, an Iraq War veteran who served overseas with the Minnesota National Guard.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am saying to everyone that the gym is temporarily closed. I lost the case in court. I want to thank everyone for your continued support through all this. I will not stop fighting,” Reiter said in a Facebook post.
”When people fear the government you have tyranny. When the government fears the people you have Liberty! That is my end goal,” he added. “Thank you all very much for your understanding.”