State Supreme Court Voids Restraining Order Against Salon Owner Who Opened Despite Lockdowns

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled a restraining order issued to a Dallas salon owner who defied lockdown restrictions in April, 2020 and opened her salon is void, noting the county’s order was too vague to enforce.

“We now conclude that the temporary restraining order failed to set forth the conduct required and the legal basis for its issuance in clear, specific, and unambiguous terms,” the court ruled. “Accordingly, we hold that the temporary restraining order was void, making the Contempt Judgment based on that order void as well.”

The court ruled the lower court’s findings were wrong because the temporary restraining order didn’t clearly explain which conduct was prohibited under local and state law.

“Luther could not know without analyzing a multitude of regulations – state, county, and city emergency orders referenced in the temporary restraining order, plus the federal guidelines they referenced – what conduct was prohibited at any given time,” the court ruled.

The city of Dallas sued Shelley Luther and her salon, Salon A La Mode, on April 28, according to the court’s opinion. The city argued Luther was violating COVID-19 restrictions, and a court issued a temporary restraining order that prohibited Luther from opening her salon. Luther continued to operate her salon and was fined $7,000 and sentenced to seven days in jail by District Judge Eric Moyé.

Moyé offered Luther a deal that if she apologized for “selfishly” keeping her business open, pay a fine and remain closed until restrictions were lifted, then she could avoid jail time. Luther refused to comply. (RELATED: Salon Owner Jailed For Defying COVID-19 Lockdown Slams Speaker Nancy Pelosi)

“I have much respect for this court and laws,” Luther said. “I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish.”

Luther spent two days in jail before the state Supreme Court intervened and ordered Luther free while the justices considered her challenge.