Michigan Pizza Shop Owner Who Refused to Close for COVID-19 Seeks Reimbursement of Fines

A Michigan restaurant owner who had her license revoked and spent four nights in jail for violating coronavirus-related orders is demanding that $15,000 in fines be refunded and contempt of court findings dropped, according to reports.

An attorney for Marlena Pavlos-Hackney filed a motion Tuesday demanding the $15,000 she paid in fines, and argued that her rights were violated during a court hearing on March 19 when she was found in contempt of court without a lawyer despite having retained counsel, The Hill reports.

After Pavlos-Hackney’s food service license was suspended in January over her refusal to stop serving customers indoors following the state’s pandemic ban in November, she was arrested last month and spent four nights in jail until authorities were convinced that her restaurant would stay closed.

A sign previously on the door of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria read: “Welcome. We are a Constitutionally Compliant Business. We are not infringing on anyone’s inalienable rights. By law, we do not follow any of the governor’s, mayor’s, health department’s, or other government agency orders or suggestions pertaining to social distancing or mask wearing.”

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Getty Images

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