STUART — The law firm of Travis Walker announced Friday, Sept. 11, that after it had subpoenaed Department of Business & Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears for a scheduled all-day hearing in a Tallahassee court next Friday, Sept. 18, Beshears partially rescinded his order that had closed down bars statewide after a brief reopening during June.
Walker’s firm is representing dozens of bar owners across the state, including Shea’s Pub in Port St. Lucie and Back to Butch’s Bar in Okeechobee.
According to a news release from his office, the Florida DBPR secretary rescinded his emergency order that had closed all Florida bars “following our firm’s subpoena regarding our class-action lawsuit — however, the rescission does not apply inside Palm Beach County until a later segment of its Phase 2 reopening.
The plaintiffs’ contention is that the DBPR secretary’s order was violating their constitutional rights and unfairly singling out stand-alone bars for special enforcement of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions imposed by the state. The news release said the governor’s and Beshears’ unified stance on this issue “cracked under pressure.
“The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker P.A. filed a class-action lawsuit in July against the State of Florida to represent bars unfairly closed due to the Governor’s COVID-19 Emergency Order. The firm filed a subpoena this Thursday morning for Secretary Beshears to appear at a daylong hearing next Friday in which the judge would have decided whether to reopen bars or not.
“By 7 p.m. Thursday, Secretary Beshears rescinded the Emergency Order forcing bars to remain closed. Halsey Beshears stated, ‘It’s time that we take this step, and it’s vital that we start moving forward with this sector of our hospitality industry who have endured one of the toughest paths for sustaining a business during this pandemic’.”
Walker said: “We are relieved that our clients are now able to reopen, albeit at 50%. We believe this is a move in the right direction and would like to take some credit for getting this to occur. We have decided in an effort to conserve judicial resources before this judge to dismiss Count I and the hearing next week, and to proceed with the lawsuit in order to obtain damages on behalf of bar owners across the state for this unnecessary closing.”
Other bar owners in Florida that have been closed due to the state’s Emergency Order and want to inquire about pro bono representation regarding business closures, is invited to call the Travis Law Offices at 772-708-0952, email email@example.com, or visit one of their locations in Stuart, Fort Pierce and Tallahassee.
The firm’s website, which explains the lawsuit in detail, is traviswalkerlaw.com.
Read "Bars to remain closed in PBC" for more information regarding bars in Palm Beach County.