Owosso barber files appeal after court orders him to close his shop

Local News

OWOSSO, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan court of appeals is ordering Owosso barber Karl Manke to close his shop. The decision was made Thursday morning.

Manke started cutting hair again at the beginning of May, even though the governor ordered all hair salons and barbershops to close.

“I have two hands that are skilled to cut hair,” Manke said. He says he will continue to use those skills regardless of the court’s decision.

“I’m 77,” Manke said. “What are they gonna do to me.”

Last week a judge rejected a request for an injunction. It was in favor of the state to keep the barbershop closed during the pandemic.

Thursday morning the appeals court overturned that decision, but Manke’s attorney David Kallman said the court violated the law by doing this.

“It was a 2 to 1 split decision and the dissenting judge, Judge Swartzle, made it real clear that what the majority the other two judges were doing was violating the court rules and they have no authority to order Judge Stuart to now issue the preliminary injunction,” said Kallman.

Kallman said he is now in the process of filing an immediate appeal to the Michigan supreme court.

“The court of appeal’s decision will be unenforceable until the supreme court rules,” said Kallman.

Manke said there’s only one way he would close.

“If Jesus comes, ya know. I mean if he walks through that door now I will close my shop,” he said. “Or they drag me out in handcuffs or taser me or something.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel said protecting lives must always be the state’s first priority and she’s pleased with the court of appeals concern.

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