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Posted on: July 20, 2020

NM Supreme Court Grants Governor's Request for Stay in Indoor Dining Case

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The state Supreme Court on Monday afternoon granted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency request to stay an order issued by a judge in Carlsbad earlier Monday that would have temporarily permitted indoor dining at restaurants in New Mexico despite the state’s emergency public health order and the emergent need to take all necessary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, all provisions of the state’s emergency public health order of July 13 remain in effect.

The action by the state Supreme Court effectively blocks the temporary restraining order issued earlier Monday by Judge Raymond L. Romero. The judge’s order temporarily restricted the Lujan Grisham administration from enforcing its emergency public health prohibition on indoor dining as a means of slowing the statewide spread of COVID-19. That earlier order is now stayed until further order of the Supreme Court.

The Lujan Grisham administration filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court subsequent to the judge’s order. 

“I am grateful for the court’s quick action,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Businesses all across New Mexico have been battered by the effects of this pandemic; they are owed consistency and fairness, which my administration has endeavored to provide at every opportunity. We will continue to provide that while taking every single possible action to protect the health and well-being of New Mexicans -- including workers and customers at our restaurants. I appreciate the high court’s recognition of the importance of consistent application and enforcement and the opportunity to bolster our case that high-contact indoor environments where face-coverings cannot be worn present an untenable risk given the incredible danger of COVID-19 at the moment.”

Per state regulations to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health, restaurants in New Mexico are permitted to operate outdoor and patio dine-in services at 50 percent capacity in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Restaurants may also provide carryout and delivery services. Dine-in service in indoor seating areas is prohibited.

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