Three local citizens who filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kay Ivey’s statewide order to wear face coverings in public to fight the spread of the coronavirus, only to see Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin dismiss the lawsuit, is not giving up just yet.
Scottsboro attorney Seth Ashmore, who represents Barry Munza, Larry Lewis and Debbie Mathis, said he has filed a motion to alter, amend or vacate the judge’s order, saying his clients have standing to challenge Ivey’s proclamation.
“In the never ending saga to restore the basic foundations of American law, we have asked Judge Griffin to examine his order dismissing our complaint,” said Ashmore.
Griffin has set a hearing on the matter for Oct. 1.
On July 15, Ivey issued a proclamation, incorporating an order that a person “wear a mask or other facial covering” at all times when within six feet of a person from another household, with some exceptions.
Violators of the order may be arrested, charged with a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, be fined $500 and jailed six months.
Ashmore said his clients are directly affected by the order, as they are located within the boundaries of the state of Alabama and, during times, interface with the public at distances of less than six feet.
He said Munza and Lewis, are retired sheriff’s deputies who interface with the general public in normal daily life, oftentimes within six feet of another individual. He said Mathis, a real estate agent, interfaces with the general public in her personal and professional life, oftentimes within six feet of another individual.
Ashmore said Griffin has been presented with additional law and argument which shows that Ivey has to comply with minimal due process requirements when she’s invading the realm of the legislature when she’s making rules under her perceived authority pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.
“This would mean that the governor’s emergency rule making would be subject to at least minimal oversight and only be effective for 120 days, so we don’t end up in a perpetual state of emergency that goes on forever with no end in sight and destroys people’s livelihoods while those people are basically helpless,” said Ashmore.