Virginia Small Business Sues Governor Northam over COVID-19 Orders

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Zion Springs has just announced the filing of this Loudoun County small business’ lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam of the Commonwealth of Virginia in an effort to open up Loudoun County and Virginia for business.  This is a significant and unprecedented action undertaken for the benefit of all small business enterprises across the Commonwealth, according to the company.

Governor Northam’s orders

See details of the suit below

Loudoun County, Virginia, June 9, 2020 – In an unprecedented move to put an end to Governor Northam’s authoritarian and uncontrolled COVID-19 executive orders, Zion Springs, a Loudoun Country wedding venue, winery and bed & breakfast enterprise, filed lawsuits in Virginia and federal district courts today to help restore our constitutional integrity and economic well-being.  Extreme measures were in order at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. However, such social distancing orders and phase-in protocols continue to cause economic hardship to not only small businesses but also thousands of families employed by such businesses.

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“[Governor Northam] is using powers that are supposed to be for an emergency but, instead, he’s basically passing long-lasting and semi-permanent laws that are preventing [Zion Springs] from operating their business,” noted Chap Peterson, attorney for co-plaintiff, Jon Tigges of Zion Springs. Chap Peterson is a Democrat State Senator from Fairfax. Mr. Petersen has been a friend and noted ally to Governor Northam.  However, in this instance, Senator Petersen is adamant that Governor Northam is unconstitutionally wielding powers not granted to him and arbitrarily applying those powers to the injury of thousands of business owners.

During these Commonwealth-wide lockdown orders, Zion Springs found an impactful way to help those in need by providing customers and local residents an opportunity to donate meals through Zion’s catering operation to a segment of Loudoun County’s homeless and disadvantaged populations. Unfortunately, this revenue along with various government investment opportunities, like the Paycheck Protection Program, fall well short of sustaining the Zion Springs enterprise. “The business has zero revenue for the past three months and may have to cancel all their weddings for the balance of the year,” Peterson said.

The “quarantine” section of the Code (Title 32) speaks to isolating sick individuals “in the least restrictive environment necessary.” The statute also provides for regular “monitoring” of patients to determine “if such persons require continued quarantine or isolation.”

Implicit in this regulation is that quarantine measures must be grounded in science and objective fact. Instead of using new data revealing that COVID-19 to be significantly less deadly than originally forecasted, Governor Northam is unilaterally keeping the Commonwealth under restrictions that have not been approved by the legislature.

It is therefore with great regret that Zion Springs will be moving forward with this lawsuit. When successful, this judicial check will benefit all churches, small businesses, and individuals who have had their rights taken away without due process.

Loudoun County and Virginia business owners and residents can support this initiative by donating to Zion Springs’ Virginia Freedom Fund at gofundme.com.

Zion Springs is a rustic barn wedding venue located on a 24-acre farm outside of Hamilton, Virginia.