HOLLAND, Mich. – A judge has declined to dismiss the case against a western Michigan restaurant owner who was jailed and fined $15,000 for violating state orders that banned indoor dining during the pandemic.
Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, owner of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria, had asked an Ingham County judge to dismiss the case against her and award her damages.
However, Circuit Judge Wanda Stokes sided Thursday with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which filed a complaint against here in February 2021, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
That complaint eventually resulted in the restaurant being shuttered for five months after the agency suspended her food license.
Her food license was eventually restored, allowing her to reopen in September 2021.
Pavlos-Hackney was jailed five days after she kept her restaurant open and the court ordering the closure.
Stokes ordered that Pavlos-Hackney to comply with future orders issued by MDARD or the Allegan County Health Department.
In an email sent to her supporters, Pavlos-Hackney said that her arrest and jailing were “unconstitutional and unlawful. The government should be servants of the people, they overreach their authority and don’t follow their own mandates and they try to take our constitutionally protected rights away, but we the people are in charge and need to fight and stand up.”
State officials said Pavlos-Hackney ignored rules other businesses had to follow.