Appeals Court overturns ruling that allowed San Diego restaurants to reopen

Written by Sebastian Acosta

A San Diego appeals court has overturned a Superior Court judge’s ruling that allowed businesses in the county to reopen.

Back in December San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil issued a ruling saying ‘that the state of California and San Diego County had not provided adequate evidence tying the spread of COVID-19 or lack of intensive care unit bed capacity to live adult entertainment or businesses with restaurant service.’

He later clarified his ruling, saying, “All businesses which provide restaurant service, meaning, all restaurants in the County of San Diego are encompassed within the scope of the court’s order.”

The 4th District Court of Appeal said the judge’s preliminary injunction went too far by roping restaurants in with a lawsuit brought by two strip clubs.

Additionally, the appeals court claimed the Superior Court judge’s ruling was “unreasonably vague” and unfair to state and county officials, as they did not have an opportunity to make arguments regarding restaurant closures. 

Wohlfeil “violated due process by enjoining the state and county parties from enforcing restaurant restrictions, and that portion of the preliminary injunction must be reversed,” the ruling states.

Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero, in an opinion, wrote, “In sum, the trial court erred by entering an overboard injunction that was unsupported by law and which violated the due process rights of the State and County,” wrote Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero in an opinion.