Court protects Minnesotans’ lives, blocks bars from operating illegally

Attorney General Ellison wins temporary injunction in ‘Shady’s’ case in Stearns County

June 2, 2020 (SAINT PAUL) — Stearns County District Court today protected the lives and health of people in and near Stearns County by issuing a temporary injunction that will keep a chain of six bars and restaurants known as “Shady’s” from operating in violation of the Governor’s executive orders during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

Shady’s owner Kris Schiffler had repeatedly stated his intention to reopen Shady’s illegally for on-site consumption of food and beverages on May 18, in violation of Governor Tim Walz’s “Stay Safe Minnesota” Executive Order 20-56. The Attorney General has the power to enforce the Order (see Section 10 on pp. 9-10). The Attorney General’s office filed an enforcement action and a motion for a  temporary restraining order against Shady’s on May 17. On May 18, Stearns County District Court issued the temporary restraining order, after which Mr. Schiffler did not reopen.

The temporary injunction that the Court issued today means that Shady’s must fully comply with the Governor’s executive orders restricting the conduct of bars and restaurants for the duration of the Attorney General’s lawsuit.

“All Minnesotans — especially the folks who live in and near Stearns County — can be relieved that the Court has put their health first by granting this temporary injunction,” Attorney General Ellison said. “My office has the duty to enforce the law and the Governor’s order, to protect Minnesotans’ health, and to protect businesses that are complying with the order from unfair competition. I take that duty seriously and I am pleased that court has recognized the importance of it,” Attorney General Ellison added.

The Shady’s establishments are located in Albany, Burtrum, Cold Spring, New Munich, Rice, and St. Martin, all in or near the Stearns County COVID-19 hotspot. Stearns County has the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and the second-highest rate of all Minnesota counties per capita. One in every 79 residents of Stearns County has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

As of today, more than 25,000 Minnesotans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. A total 1,072 Minnesotans have died.