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PRESS RELEASE: KJI files motion for temporary restraining order against Linn County officials

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UPDATE: Kansas Justice Institute files motion for temporary restraining order against Linn County officials

Linn County Residents Sue For Privacy, Warrant Protection

Citizens believe COVID health order violates their 4th Amendment rights

May 12  – Kansas Justice Institute filed a motion late yesterday for a temporary restraining order in an effort to provide protection and relief from an Order enacted by Linn County government on May 1.

The order by the Linn County (Kansas) health officer has sparked a federal lawsuit from two Linn County residents. In the suit, originally filed on May 10, Jackie Taylor and Linda Jo Hisel contend that the health Order violates their Fourth Amendment rights.

The Order requires businesses and professionals to compile, and disclose upon demand for any reason, a list of their patrons, patients, and clients. The Order applies to physicians, lawyers, banks, dentists, restaurants, and others. The Order intrudes upon doctor-patient and attorney-client relationships and is so broad it would easily reveal a person’s movements over time.

Kansas Justice Institute Litigation Director and General Counsel, Samuel MacRoberts, says, “Filing this motion underscores the urgency of protecting our constitutional rights. America acted quickly to flatten the curve, and we’re acting quickly to ensure Linn County’s overreach is stopped in its tracks.”

Defendants have imposed this warrantless search regime even though there are no active COVID-19 cases in Linn County. Only five confirmed COVID-19 cases existed in Linn County, Kansas out of the roughly 9,700 residents, and the last COVID-19 diagnosis was March 28, 2020.

Ryan Kriegshauser, an attorney from Olathe, who joined KJI in the suit comments, “Even Governor Kelly acknowledged that Linn County ‘went a little too far.’ Linn County should correct their unconstitutional actions instead of doubling down at taxpayer expense.”

“By filing this motion, we’re continuing our fight against warrantless searches and government overreach in Linn County. The Order’s warrantless search regime is unconstitutional. It authorizes warrantless searches and seizures for any purpose and deprives Plaintiffs and others similarly situated, of their Fourth Amendment rights.” Says MacRoberts.

The hearing for the temporary restraining order against Linn County has not been scheduled.

Kansas Justice Institute is the litigation arm of the Kansas Policy Institute. KJI has been involved in several COVID-related actions involving free speech and won their first suit in 2019 to protect the First Amendment rights of raw milk dairies in Kansas.

 

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Contact: Ellen Hathaway

Ellen.Hathaway@kansaspolicy.org

 Communications Director at Kansas Policy Institute

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