APPLETON — One Appleton salon owner is suing Governor Tony Evers after his Safer at Home order forced her to close her business.
Jessica Netzel, owner if Kingdom Kuts in Appleton, filed the lawsuit against Governor Evers, Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm.
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The lawsuit comes after the Appleton Police Department issued a cease and desist against her business. The document stated that if she continues to operate her business as normal, she could face up to 30 days in prison, up to a $500 fine, or loss of her license.
According to the lawsuit, the letter states "the Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued emergency Orders limiting human contact and closing non-essential businesses.” Her remaining open breaks the rules of this order.
Two days after police issued the cease and desist to Netzel, officers went back to her business and informed her that she was being referred to Outagamie County District Attorney for criminal prosecution.
According to the lawsuit, there are scripture references within Netzel's business, and Kingdom Kuts is a ministry of hers. She believes she is to share her faith within her work at Kingdom Kuts, and the Safer at Home order is preventing her from doing so.
Additionally, Netzel is a registered voter in Wisconsin’s 8th United States Congressional District, 2nd State of Wisconsin Senate District, and 5th State of Wisconsin Assembly District.
Primary elections for each of these seats are scheduled for August, and Netzel is saying the Safer at Home order is preventing her from gathering signatures to get candidates on the ballot.
Netzel is suing the Governor for five reasons. The counts within the lawsuit are:
- The orders violate the right to free exercise of religion under the first amendment
- The orders violate the right to freedom of assembly under the first amendment
- The orders violate the right to freedom of speech under the first amendment
- The orders violate plaintiff's right to equal protection under the fourteenth amendment
- Violation of Wisconsin Constitution Article XIII, Section 12.