Texas Salon Owner Gets Sentenced to Seven Days in Jail for Daring to Keep Her Shop Open Against Gov't Pandemic Orders

AP Photo/LM Otero

It’s hard not to feel for the small business folks whose lives and ability to feed their families have been upended by the shutdown orders because of the pandemic.

Texas began opening up some businesses late last week, but not salons.

Shelley Luther reopened up her business Salon a la Mode on April 24 and refused to close it despite getting hit with a cease and desist order from the country and a temporary restraining order against her. She went so far as to tear up the cease and desist order.

Luther said she had to provide for her family as well as the families of the 19 stylists in her employ.

What has set many on edge was that a judge not only then fined her $7000 for her actions, but sentenced her to a week in jail.

Judge Eric Moye said he would consider not putting her in jail if she apologized for disrespecting the politicians who imposed the orders on her and other citizens.

From Star-Telegram:

During the court hearing, Moyé informed Luther that he would consider not giving her jail time if she had admitted she was in the wrong when reopening her salon, that she was selfish for doing so, and that she should apologize to the elected officials whose orders she deliberately violated.

Luther refused.

“I have much respect for this court and laws,” Luther respond via phone to the judge. “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’m not going to shut the salon.”

This was after pet grooming places and liquor stores were allowed to be open, but she was not.

But her fight may have helped pave the way for other salons. The governor announced yesterday that salons would be able to open on Friday as long as they limited one customer per stylist and observed six feet distancing between stations.

Many viewed Luther as a hero and have come to her rescue through a Go Fund Me to help her with legal fees and the shop.

Meanwhile, had she stolen something under $750 “out of necessity,” she likely wouldn’t even have been charged by the local Dallas district attorney, who has refused to prosecute such cases.