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The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, has declared Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home Order” unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable. See Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm, Case No. 2020AP765-OA (Wisc. 2020). The Court ruled in favor of the Wisconsin Legislature and struck down Emergency Order 28. The Court’s decision is effective immediately.

The Safer at Home Order was first issued on March 24, 2020 by Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services. That order, Emergency Order 12, was issued at the direction of Governor Tony Evers and required all individuals present in Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence from March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, unless otherwise exempted.

Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Invalidates Stay-At-Home Order

On April 15, 2020, Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent letters to numerous leading banks urging them not to charge customers overdraft and non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the letters, “banks should be ensuring that consumers will not be faced with any overdraft charges that compounds their already fragile financial state, and provide them some relief as they manage ongoing expenses, including rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, and other essentials.”  Senators Booker and Brown did acknowledge in the letters, however, that “[s]everal banks have announced that they will temporarily waive or refund overdraft fees for their customers.”

Continue Reading Senators Booker and Brown Urge Banks Not To Charge Overdraft And NSF Fees During Pandemic

Today, a federal judge in Maryland denied an emergency motion seeking to block Bank of America from applying eligibility restrictions to its lending under the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). The motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was filed by four small businesses, which had alleged that Bank of America only accepted applications for PPP loans from small business checking customers that were already borrowers at the bank or that were not also borrowers at any other bank. The businesses alleged that these limitations violated the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which established the PPP, and the Small Business Act (“SBA”).

Continue Reading Maryland Federal Court Denies Attempt to Block Bank of America’s Eligibility Restrictions for Paycheck Protection Program Loans

On April 9, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-42 (Executive Order), which directs Michigan residents to “remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible” until 11:59 pm on April 30, 2020, unless exempted under the Executive Order. Subject to certain exceptions, the Executive Order limits in-person business and governmental operations, requires Michigan residents to remain in their homes, and prohibits “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household.” Willful violation of the Executive Order is a misdemeanor. Below is a summary of the restrictions that apply to businesses:

Continue Reading What is “Essential” in Michigan?

Who or What Is “Essential” in Illinois

On March 20, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker issued executive order 2020-10 (Executive Order), which ordered all Illinois residents to “stay at home or at their place of residence” from 5:00 pm on March 21, 2020, until April 7, 2020, unless otherwise exempted under the executive order. On April 1, 2020, Governor Pritzker extended the stay at home period until April 30, 2020.

Continue Reading Illinois Extends Stay-at-Home Order Until April 30, 2020, with Essential Business Definitions Unchanged