Texas salon owner sentenced to 7 days in jail for remaining open during pandemic

Texas Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt and a $7,000 fine today for defying Governor Greg Abbott’s stay-at-home rules.

Shelley told the judge “feeding my kids is not selfish.”

TheHill reports a Texas salon owner was sentenced to seven days in jail on Tuesday after refusing to shut down despite social-distancing restrictions requiring her business remain closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Dallas Judge Eric Moye held Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther in criminal and civil contempt of court for refusing to comply with a restraining order issued in late April, according to court documents. He also ordered the company to pay a fine of $500 for every day the salon violated the court’s mandate for the business to stay closed. Luther is planning to appeal the decision.

“The defiance of the court’s order was open, flagrant and intentional,” Moye wrote. “The defendants, although having been given an opportunity to do so, have expressed no contrition, remorse or regret for their contemptuous action.”

The decision came down the same day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that hair salons and barbershops would be allowed to re-open with modified restrictions on Friday.

Luther in April opened her salon in defiance of a stay-at-home order imposing restrictions on mass gatherings and non-essential businesses around the state. She gained national attention after tearing a cease-and-desist letter she received from a Dallas County judge during a demonstration voicing opposition to quarantine measures.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins sent a cease and desist letter to the owner of the Dallas-area salon on April 24, according to WFAA. Luther also reportedly received a citation for opening the salon.

A temporary restraining order was issued against Luther on April 28 after she continued to keep her shop open. The court said on Tuesday that operations at the salon had continued until the date of Luther’s hearing.

At the hearing, Luther reportedly said that she had “no choice” but to keep the salon open. Though she also noted that she had received a loan from the federal government, WFAA reported.