Mountainside Fitness has filed a “Motion of Contempt” against Governor Doug Ducey in another attempt to get the governor and the state to follow Arizona Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Thomason’s order and provide health clubs an avenue for re-opening.
Mountainside Fitness’ court filing comes after Governor Ducey defied Judge Thomason’s order and once again failed to give health clubs and the fitness industry a final set of approved protocols that would allow them the opportunity to re-open.
“It’s been an ever-changing set of protocols since the day we were shut down for the second time on June 29,” said Hatten. “We have been desperately trying to understand first why we were forced to close, where’s the evidence, which we also proved in court that there wasn’t any evidence to prove that we should be closed. If there are protocols, why does the state keep changing its own protocols and then continues to change the guidelines every time they lose a ruling. We are now on our fourth set of protocols, which once again doesn’t give us any way to open again.”
In early August Judge Thomason ruled Governor Ducey’s executive order to shut down gyms violated procedural due process and the Governor must give health clubs an avenue to re-open.
The Judge wrote in his ruling – “There is very little credible scientific data supporting the notion that fitness centers operating with necessary safety protocols pose a danger or that shutting down well-run gyms has a significant public health benefit.”
As part of the ruling, the judge stated “It is unrealistic to think that fitness centers that have been forced to close for weeks and months on end will be able to resume operations,” he wrote. “No injury could be more irreparable than being forced out of business.”
Health clubs and fitness centers are open in numerous states across the country, except Arizona.
According to Hatten, the timeline of events below shows the ideocracies and the drastic measures Arizona’s Governor has taken, making it nearly impossible for the fitness industry to ever re-open and remain in business under his orders.
“We’re right at the end and I think I speak for all small business owners, whether it’s health clubs, water parks or other businesses, the abuse of power and what he’s doing to small businesses under the guise of coronavirus, has to be stopped. We all certainly understand the serious nature of the virus, but we all have to be allowed to move forward together and keep our businesses open. Otherwise we will continue to see businesses close their doors and entire industries wiped out,” said Hatten.
At this time Hatten and his attorney do not know when the state will allow the fitness industry to re-open under its fourth set of protocols.