Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has filed a lawsuit against Walton County in Florida, and their Sheriff’s Office, for threatening to arrest him and his neighbors if they use their private beaches.
Huckabee teamed up with several other residents to file a federal complaint over a county ordinance that closed all beaches, including the ones on private property, which they contend stops them from “being able to use or even set foot in their own backyards.”
The lawsuit was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and argues that their constitutional rights are being violated by the social distancing orders. They are seeking an injunction to stop the ordinance from being enforced. Their argument is that the order constitutes a “temporary taking” of their private property in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Law & Crime reports that the lawsuit says authorities “have been and are currently patrolling and occupying the private beachfront properties” without permission and threatening to “arrest or fine Plaintiffs, their family members, or invitees on their private properties.”
“The Amended Ordinance prevents the Plaintiffs, many of whom own residences along the beach, from utilizing their own backyards to quarantine or stay safe at home. The chances of a family or landowner catching or spreading COVID-19 is far less in his or her own private backyard (where no one else should be less they be trespassing) than traveling to the grocery store or hardware store or other essential business,” the lawsuit says.
The case is scheduled to be heard on Monday.