GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — A Chiropractor has filed suit against state and county health officials after receiving several cease and desist letters over allegedly not following mask protocols, letters his attorney claims are based on unlawful orders issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The owner of Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic, on S Beechtree Street in Grand Haven, is being represented by Attorney David Kallman.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Michigan's Court of Claims, lists Governor Whitmer, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health as defendants in the case. Director of the MDHHS, Robert Gordon, and director of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Marcia Mansaray, are also listed on the filing.
“It was the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, the local department, that started this," Kallman told FOX 17 in an interview Thursday.
"They're the ones that sent the cease and desist letter.”
The owner of Semlow received multiple cease and desist letters for allegedly not following masking protocols at his business.
“They're threatening him with essentially destroying his business through the use of an unlawful process.”
Kallman says the letters are based on an order issued by Robert Gordon, Director of the state department of Health and Human Services.
“And that if they did not comply with that requirement, then they could be facing criminal charges, they could be facing the summary suspension of their license. And they could be facing a case in court where they would ask for injunctions by the judge, to shut down their business.”
The problem, Kallman argues, is that the order from the MDHHS is unlawful.
“The Governor was told by our Supreme Court just a few short weeks ago that they were acting outside the scope of their authority, what they were doing was unconstitutional,” Kallman said.
“Now she's just doing it through the agencies instead of by herself directly. And so it's kind of like, Well, you know, she's ignoring what the Supreme Court said.”
Kallman says that his client does believe in the need to take precautions against the virus, but without giving up his rights.
“Of course, you don't throw caution to the wind. I mean, there's a virus that needs to be dealt with," Kallman said.
"Does that mean the Governor has the right to trample on our rights, our legal rights, and do things because she has good intentions? We don't operate that way.”
The suit is asking the court for a ruling that would declare the MDHHS order unlawful and invalid.
“We're saying to the state, to Governor Whitmer, to the MDHHS, follow the law. We understand you have good intentions, we understand that you want everybody to be safe. We want the same thing, but nobody is above the law.”
The Governor's office when reached for comment said it is their practice not to comment on pending litigation.
The Ottawa County Health Department referred our request for comment to their legal counsel, who has not yet sent a statement in response to the suit.
A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says that they have not yet been served with the suit, so they do not know the extent of what is being alleged. They do say they are confident the order issued by director Robert Gordon are lawful.
A statement read, in part, "MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued the order under a different law than the law invalidated by the Michigan Supreme Court. The law under which Director Gordon acted was enacted by the Michigan Legislature specifically to deal with epidemics."