Kickboxing studio owner sues Murphy for forcing her to close business during pandemic

Kickboxing studio owner sues Murphy for forcing her to close business during pandemic

The owner of a Franklin Borough kickboxing studio has sued Gov. Phil Murphy, claiming the governor’s shutdown orders at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic requires businesses to be financially compensated while forced to be closed.

CKO Kickboxing owner Darlene Pallay says Murphy violated a portion of the state’s Disaster Control Act when the governor signed Executive Order 104 on March 19.

“(Murphy) did not follow the law, because he did not order that the affected property owners be compensated, forcing private owners to pay for a public benefit,” one of Pallay’s attorneys Robert W. Ferguson said. “In essence, the governor’s edicts, as he has ruled for the last six months, have been paid for by New Jersey’s small businesses.”

A spokesman for Murphy didn’t immediately return a message from NJ Advance Media seeking comment.

The suit claims that the Disaster Control Act requires Murphy to establish an emergency compensation board for each county whose job is to “award reasonable compensation” to anyone whose party has been “taken or used.” Murphy is supposed to appoint the three members of each board, according to the law.

Along with other non-essential businesses, CKO was ordered closed March 16. It was permitted to reopen Sept. 1 at 25% capacity after being allowed to hold outdoor classes starting in June.

CKO Kickboxing’s outdoor classes generated little revenue and operated at law capacity, according to the suit, which goes on to say Murphy violated the constitutions of the U.S and New Jersey.

“Private property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation,” according to the state’s constitution.

A spokesman for Murphy didn’t immediately return a message from NJ Advance Media seeking comment.

A new group — Rescue New Jersey — helped Pallay file the suit. The group is comprised of “Morris and Sussex County residents who were inspired by the concerns of state Sen, Joe Pennacchio, (R-26) of the impact of Murphy’s executive orders overall on the rights and quality of life of New Jersey’s families and businesses.”

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Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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