In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor of the City of Carbondale issued Executive Order 2020-04 (EO 4) on June 2, 2020, changing the closing hour of existing beer gardens in the City from 1:59 a.m. to 10 p.m. The holder of a “beer garden” license from the City repeatedly refused to follow the closure requirement despite numerous police warnings. On June 4, 2020, the Mayor issued a five day suspension of the bar owner’s license for violation of the EO 4.

The bar owner then filed a lawsuit against the City and several City officials, seeking to overturn the suspension and invalidate EO 4. The City filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and the circuit court ruled in the City’s favor, dismissing the lawsuit.

The appellate court affirmed, agreeing with the dismissal of the lawsuit in Knoob v. City of Carbondale. The appellate court noted that the lawsuit asked the circuit court to issue an order declaring EO 4 invalid and preventing the City and its officials from enforcing that order. However, after the lawsuit was filed, the City had changed the closing time back to 1:59 a.m. As a result, the appellate court held that a court ruling on the validity of EO 4 would have no practical effect on the controversy between the parties since there would be no need to enjoin the City or any of its named officials from enforcing the order that was no longer in place. The appellate court also rejected the licensee’s request for money damages since the licensee had alleged in his complaint that he had refused to follow the order and close his business early anyway.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink