A judge declined to issue a permanent injunction against the owners of Bandimere Speedway on Tuesday, citing the issuance of a new public health order that would have rendered such an injunction …
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A judge declined to issue a permanent injunction against the owners of Bandimere Speedway on July 21, citing the issuance of a new public health order that would have rendered such an injunction “moot.”
“Legally I cannot issue a permanent injunction because the status quo changed yesterday and I don't have information about how Bandimere is complying with the new law or whether they are complying with new law,” said Judge Tamara Russell.
Russell said that in order for a permanent injunction to be issued, the party seeking it must show that it will maintain the status quo.
JCPH was seeking an injunction that would compel Bandimere to provide safety plans before each event hosted at the race track.
But on Monday, JCPH issued Public Health Order 20-007, which will now require all venues hosting large events to provide a plan outlining how they will adhere to the state's current Safer-at-Home order, in response to concerns that rising COVID-19 cases in Jeffco could lead the state to no longer allow the county to allow any larger events to take place.
But while Russell did not grant the variance, she said she did find that Bandimere has to follow executive orders from the governor and public health orders issued by Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment and JCPH.
“I don't think you need the court to order you to comply with the law anyway but if you do we will be back here very soon,” Russell said to Bandimere's owners.
Jefferson County attorney Kym Sorrells argued that the injunction should still be issued to “remind” Bandimere that they need to fully comply with the order. However, Russell said she disagreed with that assertion, saying she could only issue an injunction if there was no other way to enforce the order and there was not yet any evidence Bandimere was not complying with the new order, which took effect Monday night.
Bandimere's attorney Randy Corporon has also filed counterclaims against JCPH, which he says violates Bandimere's owners' constitutional rights. However, Russell rejected that counterclaim and said the governor will have to be served if Corporon is to challenge the constitutionality of his public health orders and JCPH's enforcement of them. Corporon said that he would do so.
Russell also said she felt it was “great” that the Bandimeres had made several efforts to comply with the temporary restraining order issued before its July 4 event requiring it to abide by the public health order in the 48 hours between the issuance of the order and the start of the event, although she said they could've done a better job in several respects. She also said it will be up to Bandimeres' fans to comply with the order.
“All of these faithful fans that you have hold your future in their hands and they can decide to comply or not and I gueduess that's their freedom, too,” she said. “But it will have very negative effects (if they don't).”
Some events cancelled
Bandimere's first event following the ruling was set to be the "Take it to the Track" test and tune on July 22. But hours before the event was set to begin, the speedway's Facebook account posted that the event was canceled.
"Jefferson County Health Department has forced us to cancel due to the fact that we are unable to meet the new health department requirements," read the post.
On July 23, Bandimere posted that the TRUCK Invasion event scheduled for July 26 was also being postponed, with tickets valid for the new date when one is announced. Bandimere also went on to postpone events on July 24 and 25 and has not announced when races might resume.
However, JCPH spokesperson Ashley Sever said in an email that JCPH did not force Bandimere to cancel the events, although it continues to expect the speedway to abide by all current public health orders.
"We do not force any businesses to cancel events; however, they must follow the law to legally move forward with such events," Sever said.
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