A judge said Shelley Luther's defiance of social distancing orders are "flagrant and intentional."

By Erin Lukas
Updated May 06, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
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A Dallas salon owner has been sentenced to a week in jail after refusing to close her business despite multiple court orders.

On Tues. May 5, a judge called Shelley Luther's defiance of social distancing orders "flagrant and intentional" and said she felt no "remorse or regret" for breaking the rules. The hearing occurred as Texas Governor Greg Abbott relaxed stay-at-home orders, allowing salons, barber shops, and gyms to reopen on Fri. May 8 with some restrictions.

According to court documents obtained by CBS News, Luther was fined $500 each to the county's criminal and civil courts for every day the salon violated the Governor's stay-at-home orders by remaining open, in addition to the seven day jail sentence.

Luther, who owns Salon À la Mode and Hot Mess Enterprises, gained national attention in April when she opened her salon after Dallas ordered the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses in March. She publicly ripped up the court orders at a protest.

During Tuesday's hearing, Dallas County Judge Eric Moye said he would consider reducing the fines if she apologized and not reopen until she was legally allowed to do so. However, Luther refused.

She told the court she kept her salon open out of financial necessity. “I couldn’t feed my family, and my stylists couldn’t feed their families,” Luther testified, saying she had applied for a federal loan but didn’t receive it until Sunday.

“Feeding my kids is not selfish,” she told Judge Moye. “If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

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Following Georgia's reopening last week, Governor Greg Abbott said that Texan salons, barbershops, and nail salons can reopen this Friday, but recommends that both employees and customers follow CDC guidelines by wearing face masks.

The Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers guidelines for reopening salons include detailed sanitation procedures and mandates, along with suggestions like taking customers' temperatures at the door and eliminating blowouts. Some salons have been considering adding "COVID-19 fees" into their price structures.

Time will tell whether Texas and other states on the verge of reopening will follow suit.

The coronavirus pandemic is unfolding in real time, and guidelines change by the minute. We promise to give you the latest information at time of publishing, but please refer to the CDC and WHO for updates.