A New York State Supreme Court judge has filed a temporary order lifting the 10pm dining curfew for some area restaurants.
The ruling by Justice Timothy Walker allows the nearly 90 Erie County restaurants signed onto the lawsuit represented by HoganWillig Law to offer dine-in past 10 PM.
The ruling is temporary until they’re back in court in mid-March, and is only in effect for the restaurants involved in the suit, listed below.:
Here is a list of the parties involved in the suit (from the court filing): pic.twitter.com/ULIzowsgzD
— Ryan Zunner (@rzunnermedia) February 5, 2021
The lead plaintiff in the case was NYS Sen. Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma,) who has been outspoken on the need to limit Governor Cuomo's authority to make declarations like the curfew duringthe pandemic.
"The 10pm curfew is just one example of how the Governor has exceeded his authority," Gallivan said, in a prepared statement. "Once again I call on my legislature colleagues to end the governor's unilateral control."
Attorney Paul Cambria was co-counsel in the case, representing Gallivan and jointly filing the lawsuit alongside HoganWillig. Cambria said his team argued in court that with health protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing in place, restaurant dining can be done safely at any time.
“We were able to convince the Court that the state had no justification for choosing 10pm as the magic number for when restaurants stop being safe," Cambria said in a statement to the press. "The social distancing and mask requirements work just as well at 9:59pm as they do at 11pm, midnight, or 2am.”
The Governor's office says they are reviewing the ruling.
HoganWillig has represented restaurants in several cases challenging COVID-19 restrictions, including one that brought indoor dining back to Erie County. That ruling too only affected restaurants involved in the case, but the county health department decided to apply it to all restaurants. It is unclear if the health department will do the same with this curfew case.