NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Supreme Court blocked restaurants from allowing indoor dining Monday afternoon after a District Court Judge granted a restraining order allowing it. Under the District Court order, restaurants would have been able to operate at 50% capacity and allow dine-in services.

A District Court judge signed a restraining order Monday morning preventing the state from enforcing the health order that restricted dine-in services at breweries and restaurants. The reason why a judge signed off on the restraining order was that the state failed to file a response in time.

The New Mexico Restaurant Association, along with half a dozen eateries, sued the state last week. They claimed they were being unfairly singled out when the governor announced that restaurants could no longer have customers eating inside, to help stem the tide of the coronavirus cases. The co-owner of Trinity Hotel and Restaurant in Carlsbad who stayed open defying the governor’s order was excited about the news.

The Department of Health filed an emergency motion with the New Mexico Supreme Court Monday afternoon in response to the restraining order. The New Mexico Supreme Court issued a stay, meaning restaurants can’t allow indoor dining.

KRQE News 13 asked the governor’s office why they didn’t file a response by the July 20 deadline. A spokesperson says they were going to file their response Monday, but claim the judge jumped the gun on the deadline.

The New Mexico Supreme Court agreed to stay the District Court judge’s ruling. The New Mexico Supreme Court is giving the New Mexico Restaurant Association until next Monday to give a reason to lift the stay.

The state in their argument pointed out how many cases of COVID-19 around the country have been sparked by indoor dining at restaurants.

New Mexico Supreme Court Ruling

New Mexico Restaurant Association Restraining Order

Related Coverage