LAWRENCE — Peach Madl, owner of The Sandbar in Lawrence, and the Kansas Justice Institute filed a motion Oct. 22 for a preliminary injunction to provide protection and relief from an order enacted by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department earlier this month.

The Sandbar is seeking immediate relief from the countywide emergency order issued by Dr. Thomas Marcellino on grounds that the order violates the 14th Amendment’s procedural due process guarantee. The order does not provide for any kind of a hearing related to business closures, curfews or restrictions.

The county’s emergency order requires restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. and to close their doors at midnight, regardless of the establishment’s existing COVID-19 mitigation procedures and protocols. The Kansas Justice Institute said the order hurts area establishments and prohibits them from sales during peak hours.

Madl partnered with the Kansas Justice Institute to file a lawsuit against the health officer for non-monetary relief. Kansas Justice Institute claims this order disregards constitutional rights, such as due process and equal protection.

Litigation director for the Kansas Justice Institute Sam MacRoberts said the motion continues a fight against government overreach.

"Business owners should be afforded a due process hearing. A one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work. Peach and The Sandbar have a right to procedural due process, even during a pandemic," MacRoberts said. "If we don’t stand up for our rights, we’ll lose them."

A hearing for the preliminary injunction has not yet been scheduled.