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Lawsuit filed against county; emergency injunction requested

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

On Friday, May 8, the Childers Law firm in Gainesville filed the first complaint challenging Alachua County’s mandatory mask requirement. The complaint alleges that the mask requirement is presumptively unconstitutional as a taking and an invasion of citizens’ right to privacy and that the County lacked authority under the Alachua County Charter and Code.

The complaint asks the court to declare the mask requirement to be void and to enjoin the County from enforcing it.

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Jeff Childers, lead partner with Childers Law, said that “while my client appreciates that the County is trying to help protect its citizens, it is going too far with the mandatory mask requirement, especially where healthy citizens are concerned.”

The suit also names Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a defendant because “In his May 5, 2020 Facebook post, BOCC Chairman Robert Hutchinson identified the Governor as the source of BOCC’s authority for the mask mandate: ‘Local governments, under the current state of emergency, have the authority to enact more protective measures than those rolled out by the State. This has been confirmed by the Governor’s office…'”

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Justin Green, and Childers has requested an emergency temporary injunction, which he said could be heard as soon as Monday but almost certainly next week.

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