Judge Reverses Suspension of Owosso Barber Who Lost License for Defying Governor's Executive Order
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Owosso Barber Karl Manke is back in business -- legally.
After the state swiped his license last month for failing to remain closed per the Governor's Coronavirus-related Executive Order, a judge on Wednesday reversed the suspension.
Barber shops and salons were permitted to reopen on June 15th.
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Manke has been cutting hair in Owosso for 60 years but his trouble began on May 4th, when he decided to reopen his barber shop after having closed it in compliance with the Governor's COVID-19 Executive Order instructing personal care establishments to close and her State of Emergency declaration.
When the Legislature chose not to grant the Governor authority to extend the State of Emergency beyond its April 30th deadline, Manke, through his attorney, questioned the validity of the Governor's ability to unilaterally extend the State of Emergency and the order.
The Attorney General's office filed a complaint with Shiawassee Circuit Court, but Judge Matthew Stewart opted not to rule against Manke on the complaint, allowing him to continue operating. That's when the state revoked Manke's license.
David A. Kallman of Lansing-based Kallman Legal Group, whom Manke retained to represent him, called it an "unbelievable abuse of power."
At the end of May, a Michigan appeals court overturned Stewart's decision, forcing Manke to close. Kallman filed an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court which meant an automatic stay, and two weeks later the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Manke, saying that the state court of appeals decision raised questions and called the issuance of a preliminary injuction, which the Attorney General had requested, "inexplicable."
Manke will head back to court next week to fight misdemeanor charges filed by the county Prosecutor and will head back to court in July to battle the state's complaint against him.
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