County Takes Newbury Church to Court

Ventura County officials on Wednesday sued Newbury Park Pastor Rob McCoy and the chapel he heads to force compliance with public health orders intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The filing came a day after the Ventura County Board of Supervisors authorized legal counsel to seek restraining orders and other enforcement actions against individuals and entities who refuse to comply with the orders.

Supervisors Steve Bennett, Linda Parks and John Zaragoza voted in favor. Chairwoman Kelly Long and Supervisor Bob Huber opposed the motion.

In the lawsuit filed in Ventura County Superior Court, the county and Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said McCoy and the Godspeak Calvary Chapel had violated the orders, causing "great and irreparable injury" to the public by creating a significant risk of further community spread. The suit also claims that the defendants have created a public nuisance.

The county is asking for a temporary restraining order at a hearing at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Courtroom 20 before Superior Court Judge Matthew P. Guasco.

McCoy said Wednesday that he did not understand why the church was being singled out for punishment.

"We haven't hurt anybody," he said.


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