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Minnesota Supreme Court revives challenge to Governor Walz’s COVID shutdown orders

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday kept alive a lawsuit filed by a central Minnesota business alleging Governor Tim Walz’s COVID-19 emergency measures amounted to a “requisition” of his property.

District Court and Court of Appeals judges initially sided with Walz in the case, but an opinion written Wednesday by Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen returned the case to his jurisdiction. origin to determine whether the government had improperly repossessed properties belonging to Carvin Buzzell.

Thissen wrote that the judges want the district court to find whether Buzzell can prove that Walz’s emergency orders “exercised exclusive control over or obtained exclusive possession of Buzzell’s property so that the government could physically use for emergency management purposes”.

“In other words, the district court must determine whether, under the emergency orders, only the government could exercise physical control or possession of Buzzell’s property and Buzzell was prevented from exercising any control or possession of his property,” Thissen wrote.

Buzzell argued he was entitled to “fair compensation” for the government’s “use” of his property. He operates Rum River Barn and Vineyard, a wedding venue, in Morrison County, and a cafe in Milaca called Timber Valley Bar Grille and Catering. He argued that his businesses were not equipped to offer take-out or drive-thru services amid the governor’s shutdown orders and that revenue from his cafe Milaca had plummeted 75%.

Buzzell was denied a request for $10,000 in federal disaster loans on May 29, 2020 and first filed that lawsuit four days later.

Walz issued dozens of executive orders, such as mask mandates and business closures, over a 15-month period to respond to the pandemic.

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