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No one is in The Zone, St. Joseph business closed with TRO

Yesterday, The Zone open its doors for the first time after the Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order temporarily closing all "non-essential" business. Today, upon receipt of a temporary restraining order, the business is closed.

The Zone is being assisted in reopening with the help of attorney Thomas DeVore, who gained recent notoriety after obtaining an exemption from the states shelter-in-place order for State Representative Darren Bailey. DeVore's plate is full as he navigates the state attempting to help small businesses in more than 30 counties reopen in opposition to the governor's executive order.

He sent a letter to Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on May 6 stating that the gym was planning to reopen if they did not take formal, legal action against it by Wednesday.

The CUPHD promptly responded with a cease and desist letter taped to workout facility's door sometime on Tuesday. To the delight of members, The Zone's Facebook page announced the reopening at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday to the public. Meanwhile, the Champaign County State's Attorney office worked to obtain the TRO.

Erik Hyam, an attorney from the Silver Lake Group, the law firm handling the next stage of The Zone's fight, followed up with a letter to CUPHD administrator Julie Pryde yesterday.

2020.05.13 Letter to Champa... by MarissaMiller on Scribd

Today, around 3:45, about 31 hours into their revival while nearly a dozen clients were working out, The Zone was served with the TRO issued by Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis. According to WAND-TV, patrons were escorted out and the doors locked.

A hearing before Difanis is on the docket for May 21 at 9 am. State’s Attorney Julia Rietz indicated should the business attempt to reopen between now and the court date, the gym could be in contempt of court and suffer civil and criminal penalties.

The Sentinel attempted to reached out to the business owner for comment, but has not received a response.

The Zone also operates gym facilities in Greenville, Metropolis, Shelbyville, Virden and Pana.

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