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Alibi Drinkery found in contempt for defying Walz executive order

The Dakota County District Court imposed a fine of $3,000 for every day the bar-restaurant was open in violation of the executive order to close indoor service.

LAKEVILLE, Minn. — A Lakeville bar-restaurant that opened for indoor drinking and dining despite an executive order from the governor prohibiting the practice is facing serious repercussions after being found guilty of contempt.

The ruling against Alibi Drinkery by the Dakota County District Court found that the bar "willfully disobeyed" a temporary injunction by the court on December 31 to stay closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The court ruled that Alibi is "fully aware of these restrictions and is flagrantly in violation of the orders.”

A news release from Attorney General Keith Ellison's office reports that during a hearing Jan. 5, Alibi's owners admitted in court that they continued to provide indoor dining and drinking through the New Year’s weekend in violation of Executive Orders 20-99 and 20-103, and "in defiance of the court’s December 31 temporary injunction that ordered it to stop doing so."

Alibi now faces a fine of $3,000 for each day they remain open in defiance of the governor's order, which is due to expire Monday morning. 

“I am grateful that the court recognized the severity of the pandemic and the harm that Alibi’s flagrant violation of the law is causing Minnesotans,” Ellison said in a prepared statement. “I take no joy in seeking sanctions, but I will not shirk from my responsibility to uphold the law and the Governor’s executive orders in order to save Minnesotans’ lives, particularly in the face willful and repeated violations.”

The AG's office first filed for a temporary restraining order against Alibi on Dec. 17, after investigators said the bar repeatedly violated the executive order prohibiting indoor dining. That order was granted by the Dakota County District Court. Bar co-owner Lisa Zarza told KARE 11 at the time she believed Walz's executive order was unconsitutional, saying it violated her rights and impacted the livelihoods of her employees. 

"Every single person is allowed certain unalienable rights, and that's life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... it's a violation of our constitutional rights," Zarza maintained. 

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