Somerset Court, et al. v. Burgum, et al.Annotate this Case
Appellants Somerset Court, LLC, and Kari Riggin appealed a district court judgment dismissing their action seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of the North Dakota Governor’s executive orders. This case began as a challenge to the Governor’s statutory powers in issuing executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic relating to the operations of certain North Dakota businesses. In April 2020, Somerset, an assisted living facility with an in-house salon, and Riggin, a licensed cosmetologist operating the salon as an independent contractor, claimed the executive orders prohibited Somerset and Riggin from engaging in their business and profession, and placed limitations as to their business and profession. Appellants argued the executive orders were beyond the Governor’s statutory powers; the executive orders involved fundamental rights requiring the application of the strict scrutiny standard of review; and that a declaratory judgment should have been issued as a matter of law and enforced by an appropriate writ. Because Appellants failed to adequately challenge the district court’s conclusion the case was moot, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed.