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Judge rules in favor of restaurants; those named in lawsuit can reopen under Yellow Zone restrictions

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Judge Henry Nowak has ruled in favor of Western New York restaurant owners who filed a lawsuit against the state.

Ninety-one restaurants were apart of the filing, those restaurants will be able to reopen under Yellow Zone restrictions starting Wednesday night. This means indoor dining will be allowed.

Within the judge's decision it says, "The court concludes that all parties named in the amended petition filed on January 8 are hereby permitted to operate under Yellow Zone restrictions."

So what does that mean? Well, they haven't been allowed to do indoor dining, but now they are allowed and restaurants are already announcing on social media that they are opening Wednesday for dinner.



Restaurants in Yellow Zones are allowed to do indoor dining at 50-percent capacity, so that now applies to the restaurants that filed this lawsuit and are still in the Orange Zone.

"Basically, we were asking for to go back to the June guidelines, which would be 50-percent, 50 people, you know, open regular hours," said restaurant owner Paul Santora on Wednesday. "So I'm not, you know, the lawyers are in the process now of trying to figure that out, but I had tremendous confidence in Judge Nowak. He really seemed to sympathize with what we were looking for and how we were feeling and what's happening in Western New York and I'm pleased."

Arguments from the state's attorneys and the attorneys who represent  the restaurant owners were heard Friday afternoon in a virtual session of New York State Supreme Court before Justice Henry J. Nowak.

You can read the full decision below:

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