Attorney General asks court to find Lakeville establishment in contempt
Alibi Drinkery operating indoor, on-premises dining in defiance of temporary injunction issued earlier today; court sets hearing for January 5
December 31, 2020 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office today asked a Dakota County District Court to find Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville in contempt of court for continuing to provide indoor on-premises dining in violation of Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99, as that order was extended and modified by Executive Order 20-103 — even after the court issued a temporary injunction this morning prohibiting the establishment from doing so.
As the State noted in its motion today, Alibi’s owner, Lisa Zarza, swore to the Court in an affidavit that “Starting as of today [December 22, 2020], we have closed our doors.” Nevertheless, on December 30, 2020, Ms. Zarza publicly advertised that she would be reopening Alibi Drinkery. Witnesses observed that on December 31, 2020 Alibi Drinkery allowed more than five people inside the bar, and that it was serving food and drinks to customers.
The State’s motion adds that the Attorney General’s Office is “not eager to impose additional hardships on businesses during an already-difficult year,” but “lawful orders of [the] Court as well as all other courts throughout Minnesota must be respected and complied with.”
In its temporary injunction this morning, the court found that Alibi Drinkery’s initial opening in violation of the executive orders was “exploiting the good conduct of others in the community who are following the law.”
The court has set a hearing in the case for Tuesday, January 5 at 11:00 a.m.
“I take no pleasure in seeking this sanction, but I cannot allow this establishment to prolong Minnesota’s pain,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Nearly all Minnesota businesses are meeting their responsibility to their communities to stop the spread of COVID-19, but this establishment is defying the court and the community and risking Minnesotans’ lives.
“Minnesotans have thousands of options for safely patronizing responsible, community-minded restaurants and bars this New Year’s weekend. I encourage them to thank those businesses with their business,” Attorney General Ellison continued.
Should the court find Alibi Drinkery in contempt, it could impose monetary sanctions, including fines for each violation of the TRO, indemnity, and the payment of the costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the State in bringing the motion; imprisonment until compliance is assured; or both.
On December 17, 2020, Attorney General Ellison’s office filed a lawsuit and motion for temporary restraining order against Alibi Drinkery for multiple alleged violations of the temporary ban on indoor, on-premises dining in Executive Order 20-99, a targeted, four-week dial-back of certain activities to halt the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 20-103 amended and extended the provisions of Executive Order 20-99 until January 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. On December 18, the court granted the temporary restraining order. Early today, December 31, the court issued a temporary injunction requiring the establishment to remain temporarily closed for indoor, on-premises dining through January 10, 2021.
January, 7 2020 — 6:06 PM
Court finds Alibi Drinkery in contempt, imposes $3K/day fine
Finds Alibi ‘intentionally and purposefully is violating’ temporary injunction, ‘willfully disobeyed’ and ‘is flagrantly in violation’ of court’s orders