Grisham v. Reeb
Grisham v. Reeb (Supreme Court of New Mexico, November 5, 2020): New Mexico’s Supreme Court found that the state’s Public Health Emergency Response Act’s (PHERA) civil penalty provisions may be applied to enforce business restrictions and closures required under the Secretary of Health’s COVID-19 emergency orders. Plaintiffs, 14 business owners, sought to prevent Governor Grisham, Secretary Kunkel, and Secretary Mark Shea of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety from “threatening” businesses under PHERA, which allows criminal citations or civil administrative penalties of up to $5,000 per violation. They also claimed entitlement to compensation under PHERA and constitutional takings provisions if penalties were levied. The court disagreed. PHERA gives adequate notice of potential penalties pursuant to enforcement of emergency orders issued by the Secretary of Health. The court declined to rule on the takings claim. Read the full decision here.