While an event center owner waits to get a bill from the Attorney General’s Office for violating a pandemic order, he owes a Mankato law firm nearly $5,000.
According to court papers filed in Faribault County District Court, Garth Carlson is being sued by Blethen, Gage and Krause for $4,876 plus an $80 filing fee.
Carlson, owner of Carlson Event Center located in the former school building, reportedly made one payment to the firm in October 2018 and nothing since.
“Numerous attempts have been made to contact him until January 2021 when it became delinquent,” court papers say.
A conciliation hearing via Zoom has been scheduled Sept. 21 before Judge Troy Timmerman.
Earlier this month, Timmerman granted a default judgment to the state because it has not received any responses from Carlson or representatives of the center since April.
No representatives of the center appeared at hearings in June or at the latest one held Aug. 4.
Carlson also has failed to provide the state documents related to his claim that the New Year’s Eve party was a religious event exempt from the pandemic shutdown.
The Attorney General’s Office filed a civil lawsuit to block the event center from hosting a New Year’s Eve event in 2020. At the time, a governor’s executive order prohibited most gathering because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Timmerman issued a temporary restraining order and the event was not held. Later the judge would issue an injunction ordering the event center not to violate a pandemic order limiting event sizes.
The state has yet to submit to the court legal and investigation costs associated with prosecuting the case. A motion hearing has been set for Sept. 22.