Court rules Pima County curfew violates state law, can not be enforced

Under the new mandatory curfew, some businesses are closing up shop earlier than 10 to get...
Under the new mandatory curfew, some businesses are closing up shop earlier than 10 to get everyone out on time.(Dominic Rishard)
Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 11:29 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Superior Court judge has ruled that the Pima County curfew in place for a little over a month violates state law.

In the case of Next Level Arcade Tucson, LLC vs. Pima County, the Hon. Kellie Johnson’s ruling on Tuesday, Jan. 19, prohibits the county from enforcing the curfew.

The curfew was put into place on Jan. 15 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Businesses opposed the curfew, saying the order to close at 10 p.m. was unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Sharon Bronson, Chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors issued a statement after the ruling that can be found below:

“Pima County is obviously disappointed in Judge Kellie Johnson’s Preliminary Injunction restricting the County Health Department from enforcing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew throughout Pima County. The Board of Supervisors imposed the curfew Dec. 15, 2020, in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. The Board of Supervisors has authorized the County Attorney to appeal the ruling. It is the County’s firm belief that state law empowers the Health Department to take specific actions such as the curfew to mitigate and halt the spread of infectious diseases. In the meantime, Pima County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia urges all businesses to continue to voluntarily adhere to the curfew and limit gatherings. The Resolution passed by the board stated the curfew would be lifted when the COVID-19 infection rate in the County fell below what is considered “substantial spread” of the disease, or 100 cases per 100,000 people. The current infection rate is 10 times that at 1,000 cases per 100,000 and County hospitals remain full, their resources and staff strained to the limit. Since Jan. 1, 2021, 22,700 people have fallen ill with COVID-19 in Pima County and 431 people have died.”

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