A California judge gave the okay for the City of Burbank to disconnect power at a restaurant after the owners chose to remain open despite a court order for their closure.
The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order to Tinhorn Flats on March 8, forcing the restaurant to close until the proper permits were obtained, according to a city news release.
[UPDATE, MARCH 12, 2021]
Court Authorizes Electricity Disconnection for Tin Horn Flats
— City of Burbank (@BurbankCA) March 12, 2021
However, the restaurant remained open and officials arrived last week to cut off their electricity.
Tinhorn Flats wrote on Instagram, “This is what it looks like when the government decides you are NOT an essential business. Power has been turned off. WE WILL NOT COMPLY. WE WILL BE OPEN AT 12 NOON. Cash only folks.”
Now the restaurant is operating with the use of generators and urging locals to support their efforts.
A preliminary injunction is scheduled for March 26, where the judge could decide to keep the closure order in place and possibly add further orders while the litigation is pending.
And if the restaurant insists on staying open, the city could return to court for additional orders and enforcement.
The City of Burbank claims that Tinhorn Flats violated the state and local in-person dining ban last December, leading the city officials to take civil action against them.
Restaurant owner, Lucas Lepejian told a reporter with KTTV News that he was not worried about losing his license or incurring fines. “I’ve got nothing left to lose,” Lepejian said. “I’m opposing tyranny. I’m doing COVID-19 safety protocols.”
And on Tuesday, a judge permitted the City of Burbank to padlock the entrance of Tinhorn Flats – leading Lepejian to remove the doors.
“We found out a judge signed off on padlocking our doors, so we took matters into our own hands,” he explained. “If you don’t have doors, there’s nothing to padlocks. We will continue to operate.”