December 29, 2020

NY Gov. Cuomo Overruled: Small Business Wins

  • Flyover Country

By: Amy Jo Underwood

In Brief:

A New York Supreme Court judge ruled that a gym could operate at 100% capacity, despite the governor’s order that gyms should only operate at 25%. According to the judge, the gym owner and members deserved to have a sense of normalcy amidst the Covid pandemic. The gym owner’s attorney plans to challenge Gov. Cuomo’s right to extend orders without the consent of the state legislature. 

The Background:

According to Law Enforcement Today, a judge with the New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of a gym owner, allowing the gym to reopen at full capacity despite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order. Gov. Cuomo has issued an order on November 30th demanding that gyms limit capacity to 25%.  The gym owner argued that the restrictions were “arbitrary and capricious,” and affected the livelihood of small businessmen. 

According to Buffalo News, Robby Dinero, owner of the Athletes Unleashed gym, has been fighting a legal battle for over a month. As previously reported, health department officials and the sheriffs department invaded a meeting of small business owners in Buffalo, NY, and threatened to cut off their utilities if they did not disperse their gathering. Dinero and the other business owners replied that they were holding a protest, and recorded the interaction, forcing the officials to leave after being accused of trespassing. 

Now, a judge on the New York Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Dinero and his business, according to The Hill, stating that he wanted to respect a “right to normalcy.” Dinero’s attorney has stated that he plans to go before the judge in February to challenge the ability for Cuomo to extend an executive order beyond thirty days without the consent of the state legislature. 

Notable Quotes:

“We get sued virtually every day for virtually every action taken during this pandemic ….We routinely extend executive orders as needed..” - Rich Azzopardi, Senior Advisor to Gov. Cuomo

“I think our win is going to embolden other businesses to take the same steps, to take it to court, to punch back, and to win their freedoms back, and that’s what it’s going to take. Other businesses need to step up.” - Robby Dinero, owner of Athletes Unleashed gym


Amy Jo Underwood writes from Alabama

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