Judge blocks indoor dining ban

Red River Brewing Company is among the businesses listed in a complaint against Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's public health order banning indoor dining.

Update: 5:42 p.m.

In a day of whiplash rulings for New Mexico restaurants, the state Supreme Court granted the state's emergency request to stay the order issued earlier Monday by a district judge in Carlsbad that would have temporarily allowed indoor dining service. The stay, requested by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, means her earlier health order a few days ago closing indoor dining service  to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will remain in effect until further action by the Supreme Court.



Original story:

A state District Judge temporarily blocked New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s ban on indoor dining Monday (July 20). 


The New Mexico Restaurant association, along with Red River Brewing and several other businesses, filed a motion in court challenging the governor’s recent order to re-close indoor dining at restaurants due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases. 


The temporary order granted by Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Raymond Romero prevents the state from enforcing the limitations on indoor dining at least until a hearing scheduled for July 30 in the case. 


“It gives people in New Mexico a choice again that was taken away from them for arbitrary and capricious reasons,” said Red River Brewing co-owner Michael Calhoun about the decision.


Calhoun said the restaurant would open for indoor seating July 21 and will be adhering to strict sanitation protocols to ensure the safety of guests and employees.


According to the governor's director of communications Tripp Stelnicki, the state has filed a motion to the New Mexico Supreme Court to keep the indoor seating ban in place.


"Sustained indoor contact in an environment where face-coverings cannot be worn, such as at restaurants, is unsafe," Stelnicki said in an email. "A bad ruling by a judge doesn't change that."


Restaurants were allowed to operate at half of their normal indoor capacity based on the governor’s June 30 public health order. Then on July 9, the governor reversed that order to again ban indoor dining due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.


According to Romero’s decision, the 50 percent of indoor capacity is the number restaurants will be allowed to operate at for the next ten days. 


Along with the Restaurant Association and Red River Brewing Company, Outlaw Meats in Fort Sumner, K-Bobs and the Trinity Hotel in Carlsbad are listed as the applicants in the complaint.


The restraining order expires July 30, 2020. 


This is a developing story.

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(9) comments


It was reported a couple of hours ago, that another lawsuit was filed by the Restaurant Association. This time, filed in Albuquerque (first one filed in Carlsbad).

M. E. Carlton

we are from Texas and own are blessed to own a home there, but we also are blessed to own a home and live in Red River, NM, for about 5 Spring and Summer months and are then blessed to come back during ski season. I believe you have winners and losers in all places. We Texans stayed quarantined at home, bought groceries on line, did take out at our local restaurants and went to Sunday School and Church online. Then when we came up here, we quarantined ourselves AGAIN. We wear N95 masks, use hand sanitizer, wash our hands with soap and water. We even wear our masks when we are walking down Main St. or in Brandenburg Park whether there is anyone else there or not. Our friends played golf in Angel Fire and were told they could only play if they wore their masks and they were the only ones on the greens, they are married to each other, and they live here in Red River, NM!!! I think they were made to go too far. Come on!! But the point I want to make is that, yes, we are from Texas, have Texas plates on our car, shop here and in Questa and Taos - please don't lump all Texans into one bad apple bucket. We love Texas and we love New Mexico and we show it.


Thank you for showing it. Wish all would.


If you vote in Texas-you are a Texan


apparently this ruling was because the state didn't respond in time. it has already been overturned by the state supreme court. this news cycle is crazy fast, I feel for jesse moya trying to cover this stuff, thank you for your hard work Jesse & everyone else at taos news. "NM Supreme Court overrides judge, forces indoor dining to close again"


All this to make money? Can't spend your profits if you are dead.


Red River hasn’t followed any of the Governor’s orders whatsoever. A majority of the people there are from Texas and are not using masks or self quarantining. Then they come into Taos and think they are entitled! Go home Texans!!!


Exactamundo! They may be in Red River, but they do not stay there 24/7 and come into Taos daily. Do they only care about themselves and not about the safety of others? Or, do they believe the virus is fake news?


[thumbup] Agreed!

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