Owosso Barber Karl Manke’s licenses re-instated


Owosso, Mich. (WLNS) — Karl Manke, the 77-year old Owosso barber who received criticism from Governor Whitmer’s administration for safely opening his barbershop and cutting hair in protest, had both of his licenses restored today by an agency order dismissing the summary suspensions orders issued against him. 

These orders, along with the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling in his favor, affirmed his right to continue to cut hair and keep his barbershop open.

Manke is still facing misdemeanor criminal charges next week that were filed by the Shiawassee County Prosecutor. He will also contest the still pending formal complaint filed against him by the State in an administrative hearing on July 15, 2020.

Manke opened up his barbershop on May 4, despite Governor Whitmer’s citations and cease and desist orders.

“I am pleased with the orders issued today to reinstate my licenses so I can continue to move forward,” Manke said.  “I still believe it is high time for all of Michigan to Stand Up, Open Up for business, and for all the people in our community to Show Up in support.”

Michigan was the last state to open up barbershops and hair salons on June 15, after Governor Whitmer closed them for nearly three months. 

Did you miss any details in Manke’s case? Here is a timeline outlining the developments since Manke re-opened his barbershop.

An overview of what’s developed in the past month of Karl Manke’s Owosso Barbershop

May 28: Michigan Court ordered Karl Manke to close his shop

This decision overturned another by a Shiawassee County judge, ordering Manke to sign an injuunction.

The appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, had ordered a preliminary injunction Thursday, then returned with another order Friday, telling a Shiawassee County judge to sign the injunction immediately.

May 21: Judge rejects a request for an injunction that would have strengthened the state’s hand in keeping the barber shop closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

Shiawassee County Judge Matthew Stewart said the health department failed to show that Manke’s shop was a specific threat to public health.

May 20: Operation Haircut

The Michigan Conservative Coalition organized another protest at the Capitol building on Wednesday.

An organizer said the protest was planned to show support for an Owosso barber who reopened at the beginning of May.

Karl Manke opened up his barbershop in Owosso despite the governor’s orders requiring hair salons to remain closed until May 28.

On Twitter, Michigan State Police said approximately 350 people are at the Capitol. Three citations have been issued for disorderly conduct as of 1:30 p.m.

May 13:  Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspends Manke’s license to operate

However, Manke was still cutting hair because he had not been served the suspension order

May 9: Day six of operation of Karl Manke’s Barber Shop

Manke had worked 80 hours since opening Monday and has had long lines of customers every day.

May 6: Protesters gather to support Manke staying open

People are rallying and lining up for haircuts in front of Karl Manke’s Barber Shop in Owosso today to show support of Manke staying open during the pandemic and stay-home order.

May 6: Owosso Police issue Manke two citations

The two citations were for operation a non-essential business under Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order to stay home.

May 4: Manke opens his shop on grounds

He said he’s opening on grounds that he needed to make money, stating: “government is not my mother.” Manke was denied twice by unemployment.

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