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Scott Co. judge sides with Quarles, Orchard; issues TRO

By Sean Southard

Georgetown, KY - Following a hearing this week, Scott Circuit Court Judge Brian Privett ruled in favor of Agriculture Commissioner Quarles and Evans Orchard by granting a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the Governor's executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron intervened in the case, siding with Commissioner Quarles and Evans Orchard. The order stops the statewide enforcement of the Governor's executive orders with respect to all of Kentucky's agritourism venues registered with the KDA. There are 548 agritourism sites registered with the KDA.



The complaint filed last week by the Commissioner and Evans Orchard alleges Governor Beshear's executive orders are unconstitutional and unlawful. KDA officials argued that certain statutes passed by the General Assembly conflicted with sections 2, 27, 28, and 29 of the Kentucky constitution. Plaintiffs also alleged that the proper authority for issuing emergency regulations is set forth in Kentucky's Administrative Procedures Act (APA). In emergency situations, the APA permits the governor to issue emergency regulations that take effect immediately and still allow for public comment and review from the General Assembly's bipartisan and bicameral administrative regulation review subcommittee, chaired by Senator Steve West and Representative David Hale.

Evans Orchard worked with the local health department in Scott County to comply with orders for public facing business and outdoor attractions, but struggled under what Commissioner Quarles has called "regulatory mayhem" due to the haphazard nature of the Governor's orders.

In one instance, an official told the Kentucky Proud venue no more than 10 individuals could be in a 96,000 square foot outdoor play area. In another, an official waited five days before responding to an inquiry about reopening to the public. Seeking further clarification, Evans Orchard sent a letter to Governor Beshear's office on June 9 about the restrictions and did not receive a response. Due to these burdens, Evans Orchard has experienced major financial losses. Without this temporary restraining order, the business could not operate its playground and event venue profitably for the remainder of the calendar year.


This story was posted on 2020-07-09 11:50:31
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