A Denver District Court judge on Wednesday dismissed an 11-hour challenge to Denver’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a day before the city ordered all city employees and certain key private sector employees to submit proof of vaccination. is required to do.
District Court Judge Shelley Gilman found that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the issue because the police officers who sued to block the mandate did not file an administrative complaint earlier and terminated administrative measures. a requirement, except in certain exceptions, such as the following administrative procedure would be clearly redundant.
“The court here found that there is lack of subject matter jurisdiction to resolve the issue,” she said. “While allegations have been made that it would be futile, the court found that the plaintiffs have failed to establish futility beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Seven Denver police officers filed a lawsuit last week against Mayor Michael Hancock and other officers for attempting to block the mandate, asking Gilman to rescind the order on the grounds that the city was in excess of its authority. Hancock issued a mask mandate for all city employees on August 2, citing the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
The mandate also covers some workers employed by private businesses and organizations, including those working in health care, correctional facilities, and public and private schools.
Officers’ attorney Randy Corporon said Wednesday after the case was dismissed that he would make an administrative complaint with the Denver Department of Public Health and the Environment, and he is expected to file that complaint on Thursday.
“This is no longer a medical issue, it is a highly politicized issue,” said Corporan. “So I have very little optimism that we will see anything favorable from the Department of Health, but the judge said we have to try.”
If that administrative complaint fails, he will have the option of filing a lawsuit once again.
“However long it takes, we have to correct this wrong, even if it is only in a court of law,” he said.
Both Gilman and a city attorney, Joshua Roberts, noted the late timing of the authorities’ challenge.
Roberts said, “While this order was issued on August 2, the plaintiffs had sufficient time to take administrative measures, they decided not to do so.” After the hearing, he refused to say anything.
City data shows that the majority of Denver City employees have already been vaccinated and have already submitted proof of vaccination.
As of Friday, about 82% of Denver Police Department employees and 78% of Denver Sheriff’s Department employees had presented proof of vaccination. The Denver Fire Department has a vaccination rate of 92%, which equates to an overall vaccination rate of 92% for all employees in the city.
At the start of the hearing on Wednesday, Corporn was the only person in the courtroom who was not wearing a mask, despite the court’s mask mandate. He donned a blue medical mask after Gilman instructed him to wear it, but as he stood up to address the court, he leaned on a podium and paused for a long time.
“I’m sorry, Your Honor, I’m a little lightheaded,” he said.
He was allowed to pull down his mask for the rest of the hearing.