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Judge issues restraining order against Café Rosetta

The temporary order comes after the restaurant continued to operate without a valid food service establishment license.
Café Rosetta sign.
Café Rosetta sign.(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 11:29 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - A Calumet café received a restraining order from a downstate judge Thursday.

Ingham County Judge Wanda Stokes has issued a temporary restraining order against Café Rosetta of Calumet for continuing to operate without a valid food service establishment license.

Judge Stokes’s order comes after Café Rosetta disregarded an epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which included protections against the spread of COVID-19 such as a temporary prohibition on gatherings for indoor dining in the state, and a cease-and-desist order and summary suspension order issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

Following an administrative hearing on MDARD’s summary suspension order earlier this month, an impartial Administrative Law Judge determined that the continued operation of Café Rosetta posed an imminent threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.

“We’re pleased that Judge Stokes has ruled in the state’s favor, not only for the health of our residents, but also for the sake of the industry as a whole,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Epidemic orders issued by the state are meant to be temporary, but they only work if everybody follows the same rules. There are thousands of Michigan restaurants, bars, and businesses trying to do right by their communities and fellow business owners, but their sacrifices must not be undermined because others ignore the law and make up their own rulebook during a pandemic.”

On December 2, after MDHHS issued its epidemic order, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development—the state agency with authority to implement and enforce Michigan’s Food Law—determined that Café Rosetta’s continued operation created an imminent or substantial endangerment to public health and summarily suspended the operation’s food establishment license.

After a December 10 hearing, an impartial Administrative Law Judge found that MDARD’s summary suspension of Café Rosetta’s license should be continued. Despite the Administrative Law Judge’s decision and order—and despite Café Rosetta not having a valid food license—Café Rosetta has continued operating in violation of Michigan’s Food Law, MCL 289.1101 et seq.

In an interview with TV6 from Dec. 18, Café Rosetta owner, Amy Heikkinen said “There’s no pausing at this point ten months into it. If we did close at that point, or only offer take-out, our business would be destroyed.”

When Café Rosetta continued to offer indoor dining after the Dec. 10 ruling, MDARD submitted a motion for a temporary restraining order to the 30th Judicial Circuit in Ingham County.

The temporary restraining order reaffirms the decisions and actions of the state regarding Café Rosetta’s operations.

TV6 is reaching out to Café Rosetta about the restraining order. We have not heard back at this time.

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