September 26, 2021

Volume XI, Number 269

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Local Safer At Home Orders Changed Rapidly After Statewide Order Struck Down; Businesses Encouraged to Review Local Orders Regularly to Ensure Compliance

After the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the statewide Safer At Home order on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, a number of local governments, at the county, city, and village levels, began issuing their own Safer At Home orders. By Wednesday evening, Brown and Dane Counties had issued orders—as well as the suburban regions of Milwaukee County, which were not subject to the City of Milwaukee’s standing order. Additionally, the City of Milwaukee remained under a standing Safer at Home order that it had issued shortly before the statewide order was imposed. The following day, Thursday, saw almost a dozen additional local orders issued by local governments like Outagamie and Door Counties, and the cities of Appleton and Menasha.

However, by Friday, a number of these local governments had rescinded their local Safer At Home orders, including Brown, Calumet, Kenosha, Outagamie, and Winnebago Counties, as well as the City of Appleton. Most of these orders were in place for less than 48 hours—some less than 24 hours. Some of the local governments indicated that they were rescinding their orders because they no longer believed they had the statutory authority to issue such an order.

This created even greater chaos and confusion across the state as businesses were left not only trying to figure out what the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision meant for their business, but also how they could be impacted by these local orders, which were rapidly changing. It left many businesses with questions as to why some counties rescinded their orders, but others did not. For example, Dane and Door County and the City of Milwaukee have not rescinded their orders. Therefore, there are still a variety of local Safer At Home orders in effect around the state that businesses must be aware of.

As we head into the week before Memorial Day, one thing is clear after this confusing and chaotic week: businesses must regularly review local orders to ensure compliance. As we saw at the end of last week, several local governments rescinded their local orders, while others did not. Additionally, many of the local orders have expiration dates to occur later this week, on either the 20th or the 21st. Therefore, the orders a business may be operating under on Monday may not be the same as on Thursday. Similarly, it is unclear whether these local governments will extend their orders when they expire, or simply allow them to expire.

Therefore, it is imperative that businesses regularly check the local orders that they may be under and monitor the news for changes to such order. If you are unsure whether your business is still under a local Safer At Home Order, please do not hesitate to contact your Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. attorney or the authors. For additional considerations regarding local orders, please review the resources linked to the State and Local Safer/Stay At Home Orders content category of our Coronavirus Legal and Business Resource hub.

© 2021 Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 140
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About this Author

Sherry Coley Litigation Attorney Davis Kuelthau
Shareholder

Sherry is a member of Davis|Kuelthau’s Litigation Team practicing in the Green Bay office. Her practice primarily focuses on complex business litigation, with an emphasis on contract disputes, business torts, financial services litigation, real estate foreclosures and work-outs, and tax assessment appeals.

Sherry is also a member of the Intellectual Property Team representing clients in district courts across the country, as well as, in the Ninth and Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. She has litigated patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition and trade secret cases in a wide...

920.431.2239
Tiffany Woelfel Davis Kuelthau Litigation Attorney
Associate

Tiffany Woelfel is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice in Davis|Kuelthau’s Green Bay office.

Prior to joining the firm, Tiffany was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and for the Honorable Joe B. McDade, Senior Judge in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. While in law school, she was also a judicial intern for the Honorable William M. Conley, Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin. She gained experience in the federal law and...

920.431.2232
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