County fights to revive COVID curfew after Tootsies ruling
A court victory by the Tootsies strip club killed Miami-Dade’s curfew for the nightlife industry, but county lawyers asked an appeals court to revive the measure before midnight Saturday.
Miami and Miami Beach announced Saturday that local police wouldn’t enforce the curfew after a Friday Circuit Court ruling by Judge Beatrice Butchko that the county’s four-month-old curfew order conflicts with a Sept. 25 decree by Gov. Ron DeSantis restriction local COVID rules.
In the meantime, the mayor of Miami said Saturday that his city will no longer enforce the curfew until it’s clear the countywide order is still legal.
In a filing with the Third District Court of Appeal, county lawyers confirmed the Butchko injunction had left Miami-Dade unable to enforce the midnight curfew on its main target: the nightlife scene.
Saturday evening, Miami-Dade announced that until the appeal is resolved county police would not enforce the curfew.
“As of right now, the County cannot enforce the curfew at businesses until resolution of the appeal. From a practical matter, the curfew is unenforceable until the appeal is settled by the courts,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrote in the statement. “However, we can and will continue to enforce the County’s orders on facial coverings, distancing and important rules governing public health protocols for businesses.”
“The injunction allows any establishment with a license to serve food — which includes restaurants, bars, adult entertainment venues, and nightclubs — the ability to serve food and alcohol to patrons into extended late night hours,” read the request for an expedited decision from appeals court by David Murray, the assistant county attorney who has been drafting emergency orders signed by Gimenez.
A ruling from the appeals court could come at any time, and a decision in the county’s favor Saturday would put the curfew back in place before midnight. Otherwise, MiamiDade’s nightlife scene will be allowed to legally resume over
A court victory by Tootsies strip club killed Miami-Dade’s coronavirus curfew, but county lawyers asked an appeals court to revive it Saturday.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the city would be unable to enforce the curfew until clarity is found.