Collin County Judge Denies Request Temporary Restraining Order On McKinney's COVID-19 Ordinance

L.P. Phillips
March 31, 2020 - 3:52 pm

DALLAS (KRLD) - Collin County State District Court Judge Jill Willis has denied a request for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked McKinney's COVID-19 ordinance.

Real estate agent Derek Baker asked for the TRO on grounds that it was more stringent than the emergency declaration enacted by Collin County.  Baker noted that the Collin County rules, put in place by County Judge Chris Hill, declare all businesses to be an "essential service."  He said the stricter rules that were first put into place by McKinney Mayor George Fuller were in direct conflict with the Collin County restrictions.

McKinney's ordinance orders residents to shelter in place.

Willis noted the seldom-used law does say that a County Judge's authority overrides a mayor's authority.  But she noted that the rules imposed by Fuller were replaced by a city ordinance.

"Once the mayor's declaration was superseded by the city ordinance the conflict provision no longer applied," said Willis.

Hill has gone on the record supporting the right of mayors and city councils to enact restrictions that they feel protect their communities.  Hill said it was never his intention to force businesses to stay open. 

Rather, he said, the County was leaving it up to individual business owners to decide whether they could operate and keep their staff on the payroll while abiding by the State of Texas's rules that no more than 10 people be in an area at a time.