CA wants judge to hold Immanuel Schools in contempt for violating injunction

The attorney general is asking the judge to find Immanuel in contempt and to issue monetary sanctions.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The state of California is requesting a Fresno County judge hold Immanuel Schools in contempt of court for violating an injunction ordering them to close their doors to students.

According to declarations from Fresno County public health officials, Immanuel Schools never shut down in-person instruction despite the September 17 court order. The attorney general's office said that the Fresno County school is a "public health risk and is causing harm to the community."

RELATED: Immanuel Schools files cross-complaint against Fresno Co. in feud over in-person instruction

Attorney general Xavier Becerral's office is representing Gov. Gavin Newsom's office and the California Department of Public Health in pushing the judge to punish Immanuel for its legal violations. Becerra's office is asking the judge to find Immanuel in contempt and to issue monetary sanctions.

The request comes a day after Fresno County moved into the red tier of California's four-tiered, color-coded system, which allows for more businesses and schools to open. However, school districts can only reopen after being in the tier for two weeks.

Immanuel Schools' written defense said the judge should ignore the preliminary injunction violations because schools could bring students back to campuses legally in a couple of weeks.



When the state allowed elementary schools to apply for waivers to reopen, Immanuel applied for a waiver, but for K-12 instead of K-6. Fresno County public health director David Pomaville said the county rejected the waiver because only K-6 waivers are allowed and because its reopening plan was deficient. It fell short on screening, masking, and social distancing, according to Pomaville's declaration.

On Wednesday, the judge issued an Order to Show Cause and set a hearing for October 9.

Editor's Note: The video above is from a previous broadcast and will be updated.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.