Mask Mandate Closing Argued In Court

Lincoln, NE (August 5, 2020) A Lancaster County District Judge heard arguments from the City and from an attorney for Madsen’s Bowling & Billiards Wednesday on the motion for a temporary injunction to close Madsen’s until they follow the current Directed Health Measure regarding masks and social distancing.

Judge John Colborn pressed the City on why they didn’t simply have the Lincoln Police Department or Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department either force the business to close or prevent people from entering the business, as is allowed by the order. Assistant City Attorney Chris Connolly said they chose to seek an injunction instead, saying similar cases would likely eventually end up before the court.

The business refused to close after receiving a Health Department Order to do so on Saturday, as the business hosted a pool tournament. At the time, general manager Ben Madsen told a 10/11 NOW reporter, he was willing to go to jail rather than comply with the order.

Connolly argued that if there was a problem with the food at Madsen’s and they didn’t correct the problem, they would do the same thing, adding the rules they have in place are required to protect the public. He said there is “no other choice” than to seek closure of the business.