WIRTZ, Va. – A Virginia wedding lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam has ended.
The US District Court in Roanoke rejected the injunction requested by Franklin County’s wedding venue, Belle Garden Estate.
Belle Garden Estate took legal action after Northam announced easing COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor venues.
Isabelle Russell, the wedding venue owner, said she and the other members of the wedding industry are being treated unfairly in terms of easing restrictions.
As early as March, at the time of the lawsuit, Virginia was restricting wedding venues to no more than 25 participants outdoors.
Since the lawsuit was filed, Northam announced that new changes to the gatherings will come into effect on April 1, including increasing the number of social gatherings to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
In a Facebook post by attorney Tim Anderson on the case, the governor’s last-minute change the day before the injunction hearing had a huge impact on the pending lawsuit and resulted in the lawsuit ending.
“While the Tribunal found that the governor’s restrictions on weddings today are not a violation of equal protections, the Tribunal made reference to its future position in footnote 5,” wrote Anderson.
It says there: “However, the court finds that the dates mentioned in the governor’s order are becoming more favorable every day. While it is easy to say that there is currently public interest against the passage of Ordinance 72, the possibility of infectious disease is not a talisman against injunctive relief. If the pandemic continues to subside, the court may be required to review the alleged justifications for restrictions that individuals and companies like Belle Garden are asserting on their constitutional rights. “
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