Owosso barber vows to stay open while he appeals to Michigan Supreme Court | Michigan Radio
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Owosso barber vows to stay open while he appeals to Michigan Supreme Court

May 31, 2020

Karl Manke stands in front of his Owosso barbershop
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

An Owosso barber hopes the Michigan Supreme Court will get involved in his case Monday so he can stay open.

Last week, A Shiawassee County Circuit Court judge ordered Karl Manke to close and lock his barbershop.

The order came after a majority on the Michigan Court of Appeals Thursday agreed with state regulators that by opening his businesses in violation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay at Home order Manke posed an “imminent threat to public health.”

Also last week, a state administrative law judge upheld the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' decision to suspend Manke's barber's license.

Manke’s attorney has appealed the Court of Appeals decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Attorney David Kallman says the legal actions against his client should wait for the state supreme court to weigh in.

“Karl was denied his due process. He was denied his right to be heard,” says Kallman.

A Michigan Attorney General’s office spokesman declined comment on Manke’s attorney’s complaint.

Meanwhile, the Owosso barber says he plans to stay open despite a court order that he close his doors. Karl Manke is potentially risking being found in contempt of court.

“I’m going to continue opening my shop,” Manke told supporters on Saturday, “I'm going to continue working as a free American. This is not the Michigan I know.”

The Owosso barber has become a hero for critics of Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.