bowling pins on a dark wooden alley

Here’s What’s Up With N.C. Bowling Alleys

On Tuesday, July 7, N.C. Business Court Judge James Gale issued a preliminary injunction that would allow for the reopening of bowling alleys across the state. Carolina Journal’s John Trump reports:

Cooper on June 25 extended his moratorium on bars and gyms for three more weeks. Businesses such as restaurants and distilleries with bars opened for table service about six weeks ago, as part of Cooper’s phased reopening plan…

N.C. Business Court Judge James Gale on Tuesday, July 7, granted a preliminary injunction to a bowlers’ group looking for relief after Gov. Roy Cooper closed myriad businesses March 17 because of worries over COVID-19.

The bowlers’ group suing Gov. Cooper claimed the shutdown order was unfair and overly restrictive. Judge Gale seemingly agreed with this argument. Trump writes:

Gale, in his opinion in the lawsuit filed by Bowling Proprietors Association of the Carolinas and Georgia, says bowling alleys can reopen immediately as long as they follow a list of cleaning and safety precautions. These include rules defining where food can be eaten, who can share a ball, and how shoes and other surfaces are cleaned…

Gale refers to a legal standard called “reasonable relationship,” as opposed to “rational basis,” in his opinion on bowling alleys. Simply put, it’s easier for the bowling alleys to win under the reasonable relationship standard.

However, the reopening of bowling alleys will likely have to wait, as Gov. Cooper announced his intention to appeal the ruling.

This is not the only lawsuit Gov. Cooper is facing due to his executive orders. Trump writes:

Gale is also presiding over several lawsuits filed by gyms owners, who have until Wednesday, July 8, to present documents to the court. Dr. Mandy Cohen, state health department secretary, in referring to Cooper’s shutdown orders often says a primary reason gyms can’t reopen is because people there are breathing heavily, thus creating a greater risk of spreading COVID-19.

Watch the video of JLF’s legal expert, Jon Guze, explain the opinion below.

Read the judge’s full opinion below.

Read full coverage of the decision in Carolina Journal here. Stay up-to-date with the story at CarolinaJournal.com

Brenee Goforth / Marketing and Communications Associate

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