Kansas Businesses Drop Suit After County Modifies Covid Order

May 19, 2020, 9:36 AM

A pair of Linn County business owners dropped a suit against public health officials in a Kansas federal court after the county issued a new order requiring it to get a warrant if a business objects to a request for records to help conduct Covid-19 contact tracing.

Jackie Taylor, the owner of the Linn County News, and Linda Jo Hisel, the owner of Nana Jo’s restaurant, filed a suit challenging the county’s original order as unconstitutional May 10 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. They moved to dismiss the case Monday.

The businesses alleged the original mandate to collect the names and telephone numbers of in-person shoppers, along with their arrival and departure times, would violate their Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.

The executive order is intended to help public health officials conduct contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. But as of the date of filing there weren’t any Covid-19 cases in Linn County, according to the complaint.

Judge Holly L. Teeter presiding.

Kriegshauser Law LLC and Kansas Justice Institute represented the plaintiffs. Case Linden PC represented Linn County.

The case is Taylor v. Allen, D. Kan., No. 20-cv-02238, 5/18/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at [email protected]; Steven Patrick at [email protected]

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