Report: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against County’s Indoor Dining Ban

The county judge in a lawsuit fighting the recent indoor dining ban has agreed to dismiss the suit, according to a report in Bethesda Beat.

Judge James Bonifant dismissed the case after the plaintiffs, which included the Restaurant Association of Maryland and more than 30 county restaurateurs, and the county agreed the lawsuit now was moot.

The decision came after the County Council approved a revised Executive Order 19-21AM to permit restaurants to offer indoor dining at up to 25% of seating capacity. Another condition requires establishments to suspend alcohol sales at 10 p.m. for on-site consumption.

The new regulations will go into effect at 7 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 14.

Indoor dining was banned by executive order on Dec. 15 due to an increase in COVID–19 cases. The owners of Olazzo at 8235 Georgia Ave., Sheger Spring Café at 900 Silver Spring Ave., and Palisades Lounge at 8211 Georgia Ave. joined the plaintiffs in the suit filed in Circuit Court shortly after the ban.

The plaintiffs principally took issue with the order’s claim that the restrictions are “necessary and reasonable” in order to prevent the virus’ spread.

The judge in the case upheld the ban the next week, pending a second hearing.

Restaurant” by twicepix is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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