In New Jersey, Executive Order Crackdowns Are Back as 15 Restaurants and Bars Facing Criminal Charges

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TRENTON, NJ –  The New Jersey ABC has been weaponized by the administration of Governor Phil Murphy to enforce social distancing executive orders and fining businesses found in non-compliance with Murphy’s Law.  It has been several months since any large-scale enforcement actions have been taken against New Jersey’s struggling businesses, but it’s back.

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This week, the Murphy administration announced that it will begin issuing citations to bars and restaurants for executive order violations such as exceeding maximum capacity, violating curfew restrictions and not enforcing mask-wearing or social distancing.  Prosecutors will soon be following up with criminal charges against those businesses, the state said.

“On Friday evening, Little Falls Police Department responded to Chelas Restaurant and observed several patrons at the bar, not social distancing. That restaurant was cited. To the Governor’s opening remarks, ABC investigators, criminal justice investigators, along with local law enforcement conducted 104 compliance checks,” said New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan.  “15 of those establishments appeared to be in violation and those respective prosecutor’s offices in Camden, Hudson and Passaic are working through that. I’m not going to read through the list of the 15 places, but I’m sure we can make that available once those violations, once they’re physically and actually cited.”

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