The embattled owner of Glamour Salon, who reopened her downtown Salem salon on May 5 in violation of the state’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” shutdown order, filed a $100,000 civil rights lawsuit against Gov. Kate Brown, the State of Oregon and several state agencies on Wednesday.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for Lindsey Graham accuse the governor and state of violating her civil rights and violating the Constitution by ordering a shutdown of her salon and other businesses in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actions by state agencies made it “very clear that the government was targeting” her, Graham told the Statesman Journal in an interview Thursday.
She accuses the defendants, which includes the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Public Health Division, of retaliating against her and abusing the civil process after she refused to comply with the governor’s order.
She said she hopes the lawsuit will hold government officials accountable so they don’t have the authority again to shut and lockdown businesses without due process.
“It’s to prevent Americans from losing their livelihoods,” Graham said.
“The conduct of the Defendants represents the absolute worst abuses of power one could possibly imagine,” Graham’s attorney Ross Day said in the lawsuit. “Even George Orwell would be shocked and appalled at the Defendants’ conduct. At the heart of the Defendants’ conduct is the Defendants’ ultimate goal: make Plaintiff Lindsey Graham an example to anyone else who may try to experience personal and economic freedom.”
Her attorneys said Graham wanted to get back to work to provide for her family.
“In response, Governor Kate Brown, the City of Salem, the Oregon Occupational Saftey and Health Division (OSHA) the Oregon Health Licensing Office and, worst of all, Child Protective Services engaged in a systematic effort to harass, bully and punish Lindsey Graham and her family for engaging in legal business activities,” they said in a statement.
After being closed for six weeks, Graham announced in a “semi-private manner” on Facebook that she would be reopening her salon, according to the lawsuit.