Bowling Alleys Invoke “Takings Clause” in Case Against The State
Yet another lawsuit is being filed against the State of Michigan over the Governor's COVID-19 virus closing orders. This one is being filed in federal court. The suit is taking an unusual angle in making a claim that business owners have been unfairly impacted by the Governor’s virus orders. In essence, the lawsuit claims the government has been involved in "taking" their businesses. The owners claim both Michigan and US Constitutions are being violated by ordering them to close without the government providing them compensation for their losses.
Lansing area attorney David Kallman is handling the case on behalf of the Michigan Independent Bowling and Entertainment Centers Association. Five of the association members are Plaintiffs in the lawsuit. What they are focusing on is what’s referred to as the “takings clause”. That offers protection for Americans who have had property taken in some fashion by the government in order to accomplish a goal. In this case, the businesses claim if the government can be allowed to force them to close, in effect "taking" their business, or business profits away from them, the government must cover the "takings", or the losses.
It is certainly a viable sounding approach. But the question always remains, how the court will look at the specifics combined with the big picture. Attorney Kallman says on behalf of his clients, “Orders that required our clients to close for most of last year have had a severe and destructive impact on their businesses and property. They were unable to operate and earn an income, unable to pay employees, and unable to function in any way. Plaintiffs have received no just compensation from Defendants for the unlawful taking of their business property.” There’s no word on an initial hearing date for the case.