Federal Judge Says No To Restaurant Industry Request To Block Michigan Ban On Indoor Dining

Nov 20, 2020

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has denied a request from Michigan’s restaurant industry for an order blocking new state restrictions on indoor dining.

Last Sunday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a ban on indoor dining and drinking in Michigan bars and restaurants. The new restrictions are in reaction to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The ban took effect Wednesday.

Tuesday, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) filed a lawsuit in federal court. The suit asked the federal court for a temporary restraining order against the new restrictions.  

The association claims it’s unfair to put such restrictions on bars and restaurants, while other Michigan businesses may continue to operate.

But in his ruling Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney notes individuals who patronize the other businesses can do so wearing a face covering, adding “In contrast, individuals cannot eat or drink while wearing a mask.”

The lawsuit is not over. The judge has scheduled a hearing for November 30.

MRLA CEO Justin Winslow says more Michigan "restaurant workers will be losing their jobs in the coming days as restaurants remain closed."