Court orders Winnebago Event Center not to hold ‘New Years Eve Bash,’ comply with executive orders
Attorney General’s office wins temporary restraining order against Carlson Event Center; establishment must now comply with order or risk being found in contempt of court
December 31, 2020 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that Faribault County District Court has granted his office’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Carlson Event Center in Winnebago.
In granting the temporary restraining order, the court wrote, “There is good cause to believe the State will prevail on the merits of its claims that Defendant is about to violate Modified Executive Order 20-99.” The court ordered that Carlson Event Center is “prevented, restrained, and enjoined from taking any action violating Executive Order 20-99, as extended and modified by Executive Order 20-103, including but not limited to opening for the public for indoor events and entertainment, including its advertised New Year’s Eve event scheduled to take place December 31, 2020 at 8pm through January 1, 2021 at 2am.”
The court also ordered that Carlson Event Center “shall fully comply with Executive Order 20-99, as extended and modified by Executive Order 20-103, and any future Executive Orders.”
Carlson Event Center must now comply with the court’s order not to hold its advertised “New Years Eve Bash” or risk being found in contempt of court.
“Yet another court has recognized the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the firm legal foundation of the State’s legitimate interest in putting a stop to it,” Attorney General Ellison said. “I thank the thousands of Minnesota establishments providing indoor events or entertainment that have done the right thing and met their responsibility to their communities by continuing to follow the law. A handful are choosing to ignore their responsibility: by so doing, they’re simply extending the pain the pandemic has already wrought upon all of us.
“We’re continuing to seek voluntarily compliance from all establishments affected by the executive orders. Enforcement action is a last resort, but I will not hesitate to use it when I have no other choice to protect Minnesotans from this deadly virus,” Attorney General Ellison concluded.
On Wednesday, December 30, Attorney General Ellison’s office sued Carlson Event Center for openly threatening to violate Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99 by hosting an indoor “New Years Eve Bash” event. It also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent Carlson Event Center from holding the event in violation of the order and to compel it to comply with the order.
Executive Order 20-99 is a targeted dial-back of certain activities to halt the spread of COVID-19. Among the requirements of the executive order, as modified and extended by Executive Order 20-103, are that venues providing indoor events or entertainment must temporarily close to the public until January 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.