OXNARD, Calif. -- It has been almost a month since Ventura County took legal action against several gyms and restaurants for violating COVID health orders. One business owner is fighting back, and taking their case to a federal court.
Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut in Oxnard is operating outside, and inside despite health orders. But staying open has been a battle.
“I have been through so many threats by the county,” said Matt Brimigion, who is the owner of Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut. “They were trying to evict me and do everything they possibly can, calling me a public nuisance."
Ventura County filed injunctions against more than a dozen local businesses for violating health orders. The iconic breakfast spot was one of them, but owner Matt Brimigion fought back in court on Tuesday.
“We went to court for the charges that were brought against me by the County for being a public nuisance,” said Brimigion. “And for the temporary restraining order. We were able to get those removed and moved on to a federal court.”
“This is a constitutional issue,” said Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy, who is representing Mrs. Olsons’s. “They want businesses to stay closed, then they should be compensated as it is constitutionally required.”
Baldwin-Kennedy is also representing 6 other local businesses facing legal action. She says the charges against Mrs. Olsen's weren't all dropped and the case is pending.
“I remove all of the state actions that the county brought and taking it to federal court,” said Baldwin-Kennedy. “We just got an email this morning where all of the cases that I am representing have been moved to a different county counsel and they want to talk to us and get this stuff resolved.”
Ventura County released a statement that says its next step is to try to get the federal court to agree on returning the case back to state court, which will take several days. Despite the controversy, customers are still showing up.
"If opening my doors and serving food to the general public and having music and giving joy to people is being a public nuisance then I am guilty of that,” said Brimigion.
Brimigion is making a move against the county, pushing to recall four members of the board of supervisors.
“Out of the five county council members, 4 of them voted to start litigation against me so what they did is unjust so we are going to go after them,” said Brimigion. “We started a recall process for the four council members that came after us.”