On Tuesday, a Dallas, Texas, woman who was sentenced to a week in jail and a $7,000 fine for opening her salon in defiance of state orders delivered a poignant answer when the judge said he’d rescind the jail sentence if she admitted she was wrong.
After Dallas Judge Eric Moye told Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther that she had the option of acknowledging she was wrong and had been selfish, and should apologize to elected officials for violating their orders, Luther responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, 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.”
Court documents stated, “On April 8, 2020, this Court entered a Temporary Restraining Order. Defendants were served with said Order that same day. The Order specified that the Defendants were ordered to case operation of their business ‘Salon a La Mode.’ The Order further enjoined and restrained the Defendants from continuing the operation of their business the salon.”
The documents continued:
On April 29, 2020, Defendants, despite having been served with the Order, refused to cease operations of the Salon … Several customers of the Salon were present each day, receiving the services of the Salon … The refusal of the Defendants to cease operation of the Salon, despite the clear and unambiguous language which instructed them to do so constitutes criminal contempt of this Court. The defiance of the Court’s Order was open, flagrant, and intentional. The Defendants, although having been given an opportunity to do so, have expressed no contrition, remorse or regret for their contemptuous action.
Moye sentenced Luther to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt. CBS Dallas reported, “She and her business are also each being fined $500 for every day… seven in all so far… that it was open in violation of the governor’s order.” That daily fine will end May 8.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had sent Luther a cease-and-desist letter, but last week Luther publicly tore it apart. Last Wednesday, Luther stated, “Apparently there’s a very good chance that I’m getting arrested today and I will do everything I can to keep the shop open because I’m not closing the store. If they arrest me I have someone that will keep the store open because it’s our right to keep the store open. It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”
Video of Luther’s statement below:
A judge told Shelley Luther, the salon owner who opened her business in defiance of the governor's orders, that she had the option to avoid jail time if she admitted to the government she was "wrong" and "selfish" for opening.
Here is her response:pic.twitter.com/s5SM2XKYSq
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) May 5, 2020
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