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COVID shutdown arguments before Michigan Supreme Court in January

COVID-19 closure sign
COVID-19 closure sign

The Michigan Supreme Court has posted its docket for January, and it includes arguments on whether the state owes money to businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions and shutdown orders.

A fitness center company, a bowling alley and a catering business argue the state owes them for lost income due to shutdown orders issued early in the pandemic. In legalese, it’s called a “taking.”

The case names the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Liquor Control Commission and Governor Gretchen Whitmer in her official capacity.

The Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit last year, but the businesses are now taking their case to the state Supreme Court.

The state argues the COVID pandemic presented a crisis that required extraordinary measures that were equally applied to all businesses that serve the public. There are also arguments slated on whether COVID closure orders that included courthouses affected deadlines for filing lawsuits.

The arguments are scheduled for January 10th and 11th. Final decisions will likely come months later.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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