Lawsuit: TRO issued on Shreveport mask mandate; one ‘plaintiff’ denies involvement

Louisiana News

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Caddo Parish Judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the mask mandate issued Wednesday by Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.

Caddo District Judge Craig Marcotte on Friday morning signed the order in response to a lawsuit filed that names five Shreveport businesses as plaintiffs: Strawn’s Eat Shop Too, Monjuni’s of Portico, Air U Shreveport, The Brain Train and Bearing Service & Supply.

In signing the order, Marcotte ordered Glenn Langley, the attorney representing the five businesses listed in the lawsuit, along with representatives from those businesses, appear in his Chambers at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to “review and discuss the application for the temporary restraining order.”

On Friday afternoon, however, Richard Taylor, who owns Monjuni’s of Portico posted on Facebook, saying that his business is not part of the lawsuit.

The certified copy filed in Caddo District Court bears out his claim. Taylor’s affidavit of verification as a party to the lawsuit (on p. 18) is the only one out of the five plaintiffs that is not signed.and though five Affidavits of Verification – one for each plaintiff listed – are attached to the lawsuit, only four are signed and notarized. Taylor’s is included, but not signed or notarized.

Taylor, whose name is listed as the director of the business in the suit, said in the Facebook post he has “never even heard of this law-firm other than they called Monjunis yesterday and talked with a teenager and left a phone number. I didn’t return the call.”

“I’ve never had any conversation with any attorney at this or any other firm regarding any matter relating to the city and mask,” Taylor said.

In addition, Taylor wrote, his father-in-law passed away June 6 with the coronavirus after attending church without a mask. “Our family is very aware of the risk of no mask.”

Taylor said he is having his attorney contact the law firm.

Monjunies on Louisiana Avenue also posted on Facebook Friday afternoon to clarify, “We do not have any part in this lawsuit.”

Langley, the attorney claiming to represent the businesses, has not responded to requests for comment on the suit or on Monjunis of Portico’s denial of involvement.

The lawsuit claims Perkins does not have the authority to issue an executive order requiring masks.

Marcotte has ordered Perkins not to enforce the order, conduct any searches, or take action against businesses that may be in violation of the order.

Perkins has until 5 p.m. Thursday July 16 to respond and the plaintiffs have until 5 p.m. Friday to reply.

Marcotte has also set a court hearing for 9:30 a.m. on July 20 to determine if the temporary restraining order will be converted to a preliminary injunction.

Click here for the lawsuit and the temporary restraining order.

“All I want to do is protect the health and lives of our citizens,” Perkins said Friday afternoon in response to the suit. “That’s all I want to accomplish and make sure that we can keep our businesses open and keep our livelihoods. That’s all I wanted to accomplish.”

Perkins also insists the motivation for the order was not political, as the lawsuit alleges.

“This is a medical public health disaster. This isn’t political so we needed to listen to the experts and I need to do everything within my power to protect our citizens.”

Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson, who posted on his Facebook page Thursday night that a lawsuit would be filed against the mask mandate, posted another statement on Friday.

“The lawsuit (in which I am not personally involved) is being filed today on behalf of respected local businesses to present a simple legal question for the court’s review. The question is NOT whether we should encourage everyone to wear a mask. The question is whether a city’s executive can use draconian measures (e.g., cutting off a water supply) to penalize businesses and churches—that are already down on their backs and struggling to survive—if they do not “fully comply” part of the post reads.

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