Gym officials file appeal of temporary restraining order


ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — A gym owner who opened despite the governor’s order is still fighting his case in court. The owner’s lawyer says there were flaws in the way the state’s attorney filed the restraining order.

The Zone Fitness Center gym opened last week despite a cease and desist order from the public health district. Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Reitz filed a restraining order in response to that. The fitness center’s lawyer, Thomas DeVore, has now filed an appeal against the restraining order. He says Reitz should have filed an Action for Closure along with the restraining order for it to be valid. DeVore says a restraining order alone won’t get the job done. He adds that it’s simply not fair for the zone to have to remain closed.

“Why is it that every hotel in Champaign county has the right to have their fitness center open? Why is it when my client and I called a half a dozen of them that that their fitness centers were open 24 hours a day seven days a week and they don’t have staff in them? That’s irrational,” said DeVore.

Governor Pritzker has threatened fines or jail time for business owners who defy his executive orders. His administration issued an “emergency rules” warning to business owners, saying that, if they open their doors to the public before he lets them, they could run the risk of being charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. DeVore says that should never happen. “This is about treating people fairly and treating them equally,” said DeVore.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Reitz won’t comment on anything pending. She has two days to come up with a response.

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