Monday: Court to hear arguments on lawsuit opposing Shreveport mask mandate

Coronavirus

A Caddo Parish Judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the mask mandate issued by Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins. (Photo: KTAL/KMSS Staff)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A hearing to determine whether a temporary restraining order against mandatory masks in Shreveport will be made permanent is scheduled for Monday morning in Caddo District Court.

The suit, filed July 10 in Caddo District Court, seeks to reverse Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins’ July 6 order mandating face coverings, after a surge in COVID-19 cases in Caddo Parish.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which names Perkins as defendant, are Strawn’s Eat Shop Too, Air U Shreveport, The Brain Train and Bearing Service & Supply.

A fifth plaintiff, Monjuni’s of Portico was listed in the original lawsuit, but Caddo Judge Craig Marcotte dismissed it on July 13, after learning its owner did not agree to be a part of the lawsuit.

When the suit was filed, Marcotte ordered the plaintiffs to meet with him in his chambers on July 14th, set July 16th as the deadline for Perkins to file his answer to the lawsuit, and set July 20th as the hearing date.

On July 16, Perkins filed a 65-page answer to the lawsuit that included the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, as well as recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the Word Health Organizations, as well as scientific evidence that wearing masks slows the virus.

The answer also details the evolution of recommended precautions as researchers and scientists learned more about the disease.

The following day, the plaintiffs filed a 14-page opposition to Perkins’ answer.

In addition to Perkins answer, on July 16, a 68-page motion for an “amicus curiae” from Louisiana Secretary of State Jeff Landry was filed into the court record. An amicus curiae, is a document submitted by someone who is not a party to a case that offers information or insight on its issues.

The day after the Shreveport businesses filed suit against Perkins, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a state-wide mandatory mask requirement for Louisiana, ordered bars closed and limited indoor gatherings to 50 people.

Landry, who is suffering from COVID-19 and is quarantined, prepared a nine-page advisory opinion claiming Edwards’ executive order was “likely unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

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