Florida Cities Being Sued Over Mandating Face Masks

In recent weeks, more than a dozen counties and municipalities across Florida have passed ordinances mandating individuals going out in public to wear a face mask.

Floridians not following the orders could be fined and, in some cases, could end up in front of a judge.

Reopen Florida has paired with state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in the Hill–to challenge these ordinances in court. Sabatini, who is an attorney, is handling much of the legal side of the challenge.

In South Florida, the city of Miami has enacted a policy that people not wearing a face mask will receive a verbal warning for the first violation. A second violation leads to a $50 fine. A third violation leads to a $150 fine and a fourth one leads to a $500 fine and a court appearance.

In Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry enacted a mandatory mask requirement for public and indoor locations. Curry’s ordinance requires every person over the age of six who is in a public space wear a face mask or covering when not able to engage in social distancing. Violators could see fines up to $500 and up to 60 days jail.

Hillsborough County in the Tampa Bay area passed an ordinance which could lead to business operators who violate it to face a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

“We are challenging these local mandates because they are unconstitutional and it’s a gross abuse of local government power,” Reopen Florida insisted.

Sabatini has been traveling around the state holding “Freedom Rallies” in cities that have passed face mask laws.

“On behalf of local small business owners, we are suing these cities in court for ‘unlawfully’ mandating through proclamations that anyone in a public space must wear a face mask,” said Sabatini.

Sabatini told Florida Daily that he does not have a problem with people wearing masks, especially the most vulnerable, but maintained that threats to put people in jail for up to 60 days and $500 fines are too harsh.

“I don’t want this issue to be political, but unfortunately, power-hungry local government politicians have made it a political issue by trying to criminalize people who disagree with them,” said Sabatini.

In the meantime, over the weekend, a prominent Florida Democrat called for a mandatory statewide mask policy.

Pointing to record high number of Floridians testing positive for coronavirus, U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., who served as U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), said Gov. Ron DeSantis should issue a mandatory mask order.

“This weekend’s reports confirm that Florida is now an epicenter of this global pandemic. Governor DeSantis cannot continue to deny science as our hospitals are being overwhelmed.  I urge Governor DeSantis to issue statewide mandatory mask and stay-at-home orders lasting a minimum of twenty-one days to prevent this outbreak from spiraling further out of control,” Shalala said on Sunday.

“This is a difficult decision, but if the governor does not act immediately and aggressively to starve this virus, he will soon see thousands more die on his watch. Floridians are in desperate need of leadership – if Governor DeSantis cannot make these hard decisions in times of crisis, he should have never run for public office,” she added.

 

Reach Ed Dean at ed.dean@floridadaily.com.

38 COMMENTS

  1. It’s not the governments job to protect my health! It’s the Governments job to protect my constitutional rights, When you trade liberty for safety, you will loose both.

  2. Mandatory Masks Ordinances/Edicts are invalid contracts under Article 1 Section 10 of the Florida Constitution. Furthermore, it contradicts same Article Sections 2 & 17.

    • Nothin but a bunch of whining children. Grow up and face reality. This is not about you. It’s about the safety of all of us. I always thought America was the smartest country in the world. Now, it is the stupidest because of people like you. Get over yourselves.

  3. Stop your whining, grow up and rake responsibility for your actions. If you are asked to wear a mask because it can save lives, then do it. Just because we have rights doesn’t mean you have the right to infect others. Stop putting political rhetoric ahead of the right thing to do. You are not the only person on this earth who is going thru this….we all are and hopefully because of your selfish ego, you don’t contract the virus because if you do, blame yourself. And, hopefully you won’t have to go on a ventilator because your chance of survival is slim. Good luck to all you mask protestors.

    • It DOESN’T save lives. If you think it does, that’s great. No one is telling you not to wear your useless mask. And if you think they are protecting you, then you shouldn’t worry about getting “sick” from anyone NOT wearing one. I have enough brains to stay away from people if I am sick. Maybe I should worry about all the mask wearers being the sick ones. No proof they work at all. And as long as I don’t have to be part of the Sheeple, I won’t be.

      • I did get sick from someone wearing a mask. I was at a local store. There was a woman coughing and hacking into her mask. Unfortunately i walked in her wake and was exposed. I had not been around anyone else and rarely go out. Within 3 days I became sick. 3 days later my huband became ill. Masks are only as good as the quality of the mask and the competence of the wearer. Best treatment: DO NOT GO OUT WHEN YOU ARE SICK! Tell me, if someone has had the virus and are immune, why wear a mask? It is nothing more than the old adage: we have to do something!

    • The problem with this is that it’s already been proven a thousand times that the Mask doesn’t stop in it

  4. I’m not a scientist nor a doctor. I have said from the beginning that this virus is in the air. Boy what repercussions I have had from family,friends, medical people that I’m a idiot. Anything put into the air has no boundaries. We all live on this planet and the layer of air is subjective to us all. It may not have the potency of direct intent from its source however it is in the air. This is man made and none of us are immune from it. So this man made pandemic will only allow the survival of its fortunate few. Be vigilant and know that racism is a side track to our ultimate peace on earth

  5. Why not report on the 33 labs that cooked the #’s?? 98.8 when it was 9. How about the young man who died from a motorcycle accident and they listed him as covid? Texas also had over 4,000 false positives. I wonder how many other states??

  6. A mask will not help stop a virus it just Something to make you feel like your Protected when you’re not

  7. If masks work and everybody has to wear one then open up the country 100%. They were all these conflicting things going on like wear a mask but yet don’t open businesses where am I ask but you can’t go to a baseball game wear a mask I’m sick of it. If masks work open the country 100% especially the voting booths in November they had better be open. I have believed from the beginning that this is political and now you see all the bogus numbers of false case is being presented as positive.

  8. Has anybody ever thought this whole time you were wearing a mask that it can get into your eyes as well.,your eyes are part of your sinus track and you should have gotten it by now if your going to get it

  9. How about the government get their act together and look at what really is going on! Nothing more than a bunch of incompetent overpaid numbnuts! If all these mask wearing no it alls actually did some research they would realize how uneducated they are!Stop embarrassing yourselves!!

  10. There is no proof that cotton masks made from your old tshirt provide any kind of protection from Covid. It’s ridiculous. If you’re sick stay home. But wearing a bandanna is just stupid!

  11. I carry a gun to protect you: so you have to carry a gun to protect others. Substitute mask for gun and remember that Democrats forcing masks will one day be replaced by Republicans WITH THE SAME POWER !

  12. Mask cut off 60%of your oxengen how can that be safe and i also agree we have been told that we can get covid threw our eyes so whats next put a bag over your head? Or are we gonna be wearing goggles next?Pa

  13. If masks working why we are at 25% and 50% capacity and all small business closing permanent?
    Lets close Costco, wallmart, target and Amazon for 2-3 months after the vaccine 🤣😂🤣(what a joke),so yes lets close this big corporations and leave the small local business to rise for 2-3 months but aww i forgot this is not democracy, not even in Venezuela and China you dont have this type of dictatorship that we have with this stupid virus ,we give our freedom in exchange of stupidity

  14. If the virus can fit 100,000 on the head of a pin. And you can breathe through your mask then you can breathe in the virus. So they are useless. Plus you make wearers I constantly watch you touching or adjusting your mask with your hands then you touch everything in the store so again tell me wha

  15. If the virus can fit 100,000 on the head of a pin. And you can breathe through your mask then you can breathe in the virus. So they are useless. Plus you make wearers I constantly watch you touching or adjusting your mask with your hands then you touch everything in the store so again tell me what good are you doing? So just wait while you do your best to keep everything sanitized. When you mess with your own immune system and screw it up because you loose your ability to fight off any germs. Next year everyone will be dying of a cold.

  16. We need more people to stand up and have a voice. I will not follow like a dumb animal and have my rights tsken away. Too many paid the ultimate sacrifice so I can speak out and have my rights

  17. People are getting sick from wearing masks. And to expect people to wear them outside in this heat is ludicrous

  18. Every other day they’re finding that the tests are wrong. People that aren’t even getting the test are getting results back positive. If they could actually prove that the actual tests are being done and they’re legitimate then maybe I believe a bunch of his horse crap

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