McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A judge in Collin County has rejected a legal challenge to the city of McKinney’s Coronavirus emergency order.
As a result, realtor Derek Baker, who filed a request for a temporary restraining order against the city, said he’s now dropping the case.
McKinney’s emergency order will remain in place.
Mayor George Fuller says he’s pleased by Judge Jill Willis’ order.
“I’m extremely happy with her very decisive ruling. It took all of two minutes.”
Judge Willis held Tuesday afternoon’s hearing on Zoom.
Baker requested the temporary restraining order last Friday.
It followed Mayor Fuller’s emergency order, that was different from Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s emergency order.
Baker said his business would have been hurt under the city’s, but not the county’s order.
In his filing, Baker cited a state statute that says during a disaster, if there is a conflict between a Mayor and a County Judge’s emergency orders, it’s the County Judge’s order that prevails.
But during the hearing, Judge Willis said she didn’t want to be the one to decide.
“Picking one policy over another based on my own personal preference would be very out of my judicial lane,” she said.
Judge Willis said she requested more research and found when the McKinney City Council passed the Mayor’s order as an ordinance, the legal challenge became moot.
Judge Willis ruled, “This additional information makes it clear that once the Mayor’s declaration was superseded by the city ordinance, the conflict provision no longer applies. Therefore, the plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order is denied.”
Mayor Fuller said, “Had she not don’t that, our ability to keep McKinney safe and watch after the health and well-being of our community would have been compromised.”
The Mayor said that realtors were always considered essential businesses under his emergency order and the city council’s ordinance.
On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott issued a new statewide order that establishes a definition of essential businesses.
Under the Governor’s order, residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services are considered essential functions.