The Wisconsin Supreme Court Invalidates Safer at Home Order

On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidated Emergency Order 28 (Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” Order) immediately, with the exception that schools must be closed for the remainder of the school year.

On April 16, the Evers administration issued Emergency Order 28 which prohibited non-essential travel, ordered many businesses to cease activities, and prohibited private gatherings.

Since Emergency Order 28 was invalidated, local governments have begun issuing their own local public health orders to replace the restrictions in Emergency Order 28.

Check with your county and municipality

It is expected that the Wisconsin Legislature will attempt to implement a strategy that eases Wisconsinites back into a normal working routine. However, for now, it is imperative that businesses and individuals check with their local county and municipality to make sure there are no restrictions in place. For instance, Dane and Milwaukee County have implemented regulations that mimic Emergency Order 28.

Can businesses open as per usual now that “Safer at Home” is over?

Unless there are local restrictions in place by your local government, such as your county or municipality, businesses may open and operate as they did prior to the original Emergency Order #12 “Safer at Home” Order dated March 24, 2020.    

However, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has developed helpful instructions on reopening different kinds of businesses in a safe and steady fashion. Find more information here.

Does this affect Emergency Order 15 (temporarily limiting foreclosures and evictions)?

No. The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision only invalidated Emergency Order 28. Although Order 15 was issued under the same statutory authority, a court would need to determine that the Order is invalid. As of now, the ban on evictions and foreclosures is set to expire May 27, 2020.

Published May 19, 2020

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