ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis County is seeking a restraining order against a local gym owner who is persistent to keep his business open despite the county's stay-at-home order.
The owner of House of Pain gym in Chesterfield opened doors to customers despite the county's order of the closure of non-essential businesses. Gyms will not allowed to open in the county's reopening plan on May 18.
Joe Corbett, the gym owner, said they opened because they believe gyms are essential for the overall well-being of people and to survive in this economy.
“We are opening because we are trying to put food on the table. It seems to me that the people making the decisions are out of touch with reality, but they're all getting paychecks,” Corbett said.
Now, St. Louis County is taking the company to court and has requested a temporary restraining order against House of Pain Gym Services for both its Chesterfield and Maryland Heights locations.
According to court documents, the county has power through the Missouri Constitution to enforce business restrictions and closure orders for the protection of its residents’ health.
The county sent Corbett a notice in late April to their Chesterfield location and then again hand-delivered a notice on May 6 to both the Chesterfield and Maryland Heights locations.
On May 7, the gym’s lawyer contacted the county and said Corbett intends to keep the business open. The county then gave Corbett until 5 p.m. May 10 to comply with the order or the county will take legal action.
"We think this is an overreach, and they are ruling with a heavy hand," Corbett said.
According to court documents, Corbett’s attorney responded later that day saying the stay-at-home order s “blatantly unconstitutional” and the county’s efforts to make Corbett comply constituted “tyrannical persecution.”
As part of the lawsuit, the county is demanding a list of everyone who went to the gym and wants Corbett to pay for them to get tested.