Delaware man sues Governor Carney, says right to rent out beach condo was taken away

DOVER, Del. – One man is suing Governor John Carney in federal court, arguing that the Governor’s restrictions on short term rentals in the state infringe on his rights.

“The lawsuit is about the state of emergency that’s been declared by Governor Carney and the continued state of emergency and the restrictions he has placed,” Julianne Murray, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, said.

Murray represents Patrick Murray, her husband, the plaintiff asking the court to put an end to Governor John Carney’s restrictions on short term rentals in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The modification about the hotels, specifically, basically said, you can’t have any commercial lodging, any short term rentals, anything like that, including Air Bnb,” Julianne Murray said.

Murray says she and her husband own a condo in Dewey Beach that they’re not able to rent under the governor’s orders. That, she says, is an infringement on their rights.

“The argument is that they have taken away our ability to use our property,” Julianne Murray said.

And she says they aren’t the only two people in Delaware in this position.

“I’ve been blown away by how many emails I’ve gotten from people who are similarly situated who said that they are suffering economically because they can’t rent their places,” she said.

47 ABC did reach out to Governor Carney’s office, who says his legal team is reviewing the lawsuit. Murray, in the meantime, says she agrees that the threat of covid 19 is real, but says when handling that threat, the government has a duty not use extreme measures such as this one.

“When you start talking about rights that come through the amendments on a fundamental level like that, the government has to use the least restrictive means,” Julianne Murray said.

Now, she wants the court to step in and put an end to the governor’s restrictions.

“Basically the steps would be temporary restraining, then preliminary injunction, and then that preliminary injunction would flow to a permanent injunction,” she said.

Murray says she believes things can begin to safely reopen with proper social distancing measures and hygiene protocols in place. She adds that if people are considered vulnerable, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, they can stay home.


Categories: Delaware, Local News