The owners of Atilis Gym Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court For The District Of New Jersey on Tuesday against New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan and Commissioner of the Department of Health Judith Persichilli. The suit filed by The Mermigis Law Group claims Muprhy’s order “bestows unbridled authority” to Callahan for enforcing emergency restrictions. It also said of the essential businesses allowed to remain open that “the classification was not reasonable or rational and was arbitrary and random without any data and therefore a denial of due process”. The suit quotes Murphy’s recent claim “the Bill of Rights is above my pay grade. I wasn’t thinking about the Bill of Rights when we did this”. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Attilis Gym closed on March 21, 2020 due to Murphy’s Executive Order that deemed gyms non-essential businesses. According to the lawsuit the gym reopened on May 18, 2020 “due to dire and crippling financial situation”. The suit claims Smith and Trumbetti took “extraordinary precautions to implement health protocols sufficiently similar to those businesses that were allowed to remain open”. Precautions included requiring members to have their temperatures taken before they enter the gym and requiring the use of masks. Local police have issued summons to Smith and Trumbetti for opening the gym. Members have also been cited for violating the executive order. The gym continued to open until state officials shut down the gym and changed the locks on May 23, 2020. I visited Atilis Gym that day in hopes of speaking with Smith and Trumbetti. The doors were locked tight and the only people I met were those who stopped to offer Smith and Trumbetti their support.
“This is a disaster, and everybody needs to open up their business” Attorney James Mermigis representing Atilis Gym told the NY Post. “We need to get this country going again because if we don’t get it anytime soon, we’re gonna reach a point of no return. And I commend these gym owners for taking a stance against Gov. Murphy and saying enough is enough”.
The opening of Atilis Gym drew a crowed of about 200 supporters who protested Murphy’s totalitarian executive order many wearing pro-Trump attire, waving American flags and carrying signs with messages such as “Stay poor vote Democrat” and “My freedom doesn’t end where your fear begins”. Local police who had been watching the scene unfold told the crowd that the gym was in violation of the Governor’s executive order but then told them to “have a nice day”.
— Atilis Gym Bellmawr (@TheAtilisGym) May 18, 2020
The crowd burst into cheers after Bellmawr Police allowed the gym to open. Police later returned and served Smith and Trumbetti with a disorderly conduct summons. “I assume that they came back because they received an order from higher up” Smith told Fox News.
The suit asks a federal judge to declare Murphy’s orders are unconstitutional. It also requests an injunction that would allow the gym to remain open.
A spokesperson for Murphy’s office said Wednesday the state does not comment on pending litigation. A spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the suit.
The Informed Conservative will continue to bring you updates on the Atilis Gym situation and is attempting to get Smith and Trumbetti as guests on the Informed Conservative Podcast.
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