COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — Three business owners in Colorado Springs have filed a lawsuit against Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, claiming COVID-19 restrictions are violating their First Amendment right to assemble. The lawsuit also argues that some businesses, such as restaurants and bars, have not been treated equally under the law.

Black Forest Bistro, Mobile Veterinarian Guy, and BodyCast Band filed a lawsuit against Gov. Polis and Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) Executive Director Jill Ryan on Thursday.

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Joseph O’Keefe with Dickson Law Firm stated, in part:

“Many small businesses have closed indefinitely or permanently as a result of restrictions by the Governor and CDPHE attempting to slow the spread of COVID-19. Closures contribute to rising unemployment claims and hardships for residents around the state. Regardless of the restrictions, cases continue to rise. The mental health issues and the financial devastation associated with the current shut down of coffee shops, restaurants and taverns, is hard to fathom. Fortunately for Colorado, we have an extremely well intentioned and smart governor who is doing his best to design a plan to protect citizens, while at the same time trying to effectuate a plan to allow small places where citizens gather to fellowship, debate, get out of their homes and socialize, to re-open.”

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The lawsuit asks the Federal Court for an injunction to allow the these businesses to reopen, “putting them on the same business footing as big box stores, and to allow Colorado citizens the right to assemble where they see fit.”

We have reached out to the governor’s office for a comments but they have said before that it is their policy not to comment on pending litigation.

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Anica Padilla