Six out-of-state homeowners have filed a federal lawsuit against a North Carolina county for barring them from accessing their holiday homes due to CCP virus safety measures.
The rule bans all mass gatherings and non-essential travel in an attempt to stem the outbreak of the CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
The suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Eastern North Carolina, is an attempt by six non-resident homeowners to force Dare County to grant them access to their properties, which they deem their constitutional right.
“This action is brought by plaintiffs who seek to protect their right to travel, to engage in a common calling or occupation, and to obtain medical treatment as is guaranteed to them as citizens of the United States” by the U.S. Constitution, the suit reads.
The Dare County property owners are challenging a March 20 decree of the Dare County Control Group—a state of emergency multi-judicial ruling body in Dare County, North Carolina—that stipulates that residents from other states would be refused to access their second homes in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, a popular holiday destination.
“The intent of this declaration is to decrease the risk of exposure and limit the spread of COVID-19 in Dare County by eliminating non-essential travel, thereby reducing the number of individuals in the county and ultimately reducing potential virus spread and the burden on our healthcare system,” the group clarified in a statement.
“It is imperative to take measures to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 and not overwhelm our healthcare system so it can care for those who are at most risk and continue to provide routine medical and emergency services,” the statement said.
In neighboring Currituck County, a similar emergency order was announced on March 19 for Outer Banks communities.
Residents of Currituck, Hyde, and Tyrrell Counties, and people employed in Dare County with proper credentials, such as Dare County-issued passes, a pay stub, or employee ID in the county will be unaffected by the ban, OBX Today reported.
Attorney Chuck Kitchen, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the six property owners, however, contends that the ruling violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the constitution, which states that residents of any state may enjoy all privileges and immunities in other states.
Apart from being unconstitutional, Kitchen further contends that the regulation is unlawful, because it was forged out of a resolution rather than an ordinance.
Kitchen said his clients don’t seek financial compensation and that they fully endorse the state’s security policies in general, but “they simply want to get to the property they own and pay for,” he told the newspaper.
Furthermore, if successful, Kitchen expects the lawsuit will set a precedent for the rest of the country.
From NTD News