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AG Nessel sends cease-and-desist letter to landscaper to stop non-essential operations

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Posted at 10:52 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 04:47:45-04

LANSING, Mich. — Attorney General Dana Nessel and Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson sent a cease-and-desist letter to cease-and-desist letter to Land Scape Supplies LLC in Muskegon County last week after it was found to be violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.

The business then challenged the directive in court, but Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Hicks issuing an opinion Friday affirmed the business was violating the order.

The letter was sent Tuesday to Land Scape Supplies after witnesses reported to police that company employees were delivering mulch and providing other lawn care services, plus putting flyers in residents’ mailboxes.

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section pertaining to Executive Order 2020-42 explicitly says landscaping, lawn care, tree service, irrigation, and related outdoor maintenance companies “cannot designate workers to perform these services unless the service is necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of a residence.” The order does not prohibit homeowners from tending to their own yards.

“When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan is not out of the woods yet,” Nessel said. “New positive cases of the virus continue to be reported each day, and more people continue to die. This virus is not something to be taken lightly, and I appreciate Prosecutor Hilson for his efforts to help protect the people of Muskegon County. We must stay the course to continue flattening the curve, and regardless of how much we may want our flower gardens to be ready for spring, we must remember that the lives of many Michiganders are at stake.”

Willful violations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense, as well as licensing penalties for businesses and other entities. Violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.

The attorney general’s office has a section on its website, Know Your Employment Rights, to provide Michigan residents with more information on the legal rights of employees and employers under the executive order.