Coffee shop’s lawsuit over mask order ‘insufficient’

U.S. District Judge William Conley has tossed out most of Helbachs Coffee Roasters and Kitchen’s lawsuit against the city and county’s 2020 mask order, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. The Middleton coffee shop, at the time located at 1924 Parmenter St., was cited for refusing to comply with the emergency public health order issued in July 2020 requiring masks be worn inside businesses and that a sign be posted regarding the requirement. The business sued the city of Madison and Dane County, along with Public Health Madison and Dane County director Janel Heinrich, PHMDC employee Bonnie Koenig, and assistant city attorney Marci Paulsen. The judge’s decision stated Helbachs could not prove that the city and county put a policy in place that imposed speech restrictions on businesses, that Public Health’s investigation procedure and citation-writing practices violated the café’s due process rights, or that Public Health had inadequately trained its investigators, among other decisions. The claim that Public Health retaliated against the café owners’ for exercising their free speech rights by hanging a “mask free” sign was also dismissed.