The owners of a Buffalo nightclub are now legally fighting the forced closure of their facility.
The owners of Groove Lounge on Broadway are seeking a temporary restraining order against the Buffalo Police Department and Buffalo Police Commissioner Bryon Lockwood so that officers cannot interfere with business.
Lockwood ordered Groove Lounge to shut down after an off-duty police officer was involved in a shooting outside of the establishment on July 23.
The owners of Groove Lounge are claiming Lockwood, in either his capacity as Buffalo Police Commissioner or as an individual, did not have the authority to order the business to shut down. In the temporary restraining order, lawyers for the Groove Lounge state that Buffalo City Code specifies that only the mayor has the authority to close an establishment in an instance of "dire emergency."
The temporary restraining order alleges that Groove Lounge's sister establishment, Club 1210 has also been impacted by the forced closure. Owners say they had pre-paid events with guest lists scheduled for last Friday and Saturday night at Club 1210, and tried to make Commissioner Lockwood aware of them. It alleges Lockwood "used his army like any commander would who seeks to impose martial law" and "had his officers surround the building and threatened to arrest anyone who attempted to enter the premises."
The temporary restraining order states that the closing order is without any legal authority and is causing "irreparable financial injury" to the Groove Lounge. The order also states the business will need to shut down permanently if the closure continues for another few weeks.