North Dakota v. RigginAnnotate this Case
On March 13, 2020, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum declared a state of emergency and activated the North Dakota State Emergency Operations Plan via Executive Order (“E.O.”) 2020-03. Governor Burgum’s declaration of a state emergency was in response to the public health crisis resulting from the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”). On March 19, 2020, Governor Burgum issued E.O. 2020-06 which closed certain business establishments in North Dakota, limited physical access to other business establishments in North Dakota, directed state agencies and offices to regulate staffing, and limited access to the North Dakota State Capitol by appointment only. These restrictions were set to expire on April 6, 2020. On March 27, 2020, E.O. 2020-06 was amended as E.O. 2020-06.1 to include the closure of salons and ordering licensed cosmetologists to cease operations. Kari Riggin appealed a criminal judgment entered after she conditionally pled guilty to a violation of Executive Order 2020-06, an infraction. Riggin challenged the Governor’s authority to restrict her ability to engage in cosmetology services within an assisted living facility as part of the State’s response to a declared state of emergency. Finding the governor did not exceed the statutory authority delegated to him through N.D.C.C. ch. 37-17.1. Riggin failed to adequately support her challenge E.O. 2020-06 was unconstitutional because it restricted her right to conduct business, engage in employment, and failed to adequately support her contention the executive order and the criminal penalties imposed for a violation of an executive order were unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. Accordingly, judgment was affirmed.