ctnewsjunkie file photo
Hair stylist protesting at the state Capitol last week (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

A judge denied a request to stay open from a Pawcatuck barber who defied Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order and started cutting hair last Wednesday.

Superior Court Judge Harry Calmar denied Cat Thibodeau’s request to keep her barbershop open while she challenges Lamont’s executive order in court.

Last week Thibodeau, who owns Modern Barber & Shave in Pawcatuck, opened even though Lamont’s executive order prohibited barber shops and salons from opening until June 1. She also filed a lawsuit against Lamont and the Ledge Light Health District claiming they “exceeded” their authority in issuing a cease and desist order against her.

Lamont had previously said barber shops and salons would be able to open on May 20, but he changed his mind 48 hours before that happened, sparking anger and protests among some in the industry. 

The heath district determined that Thibodeau was in compliance with all the guidance issued by the state. The lawsuit claims Lamont exceeded his executive authority by prohibiting barber shops and salons from opening.

Calmar denied Thibodeau’s request for a temporary injunction because “the applicant has failed to demonstrate she lacks an adequate remedy at law.”

Frank Riccio, Thibodeau’s attorney, said he has advised her “that reopening her business at this stage point before June 1 could result in civil and/or criminal penalties.”

Thibodeau has decided not to continue to defy Lamont’s executive order and reopen, according to Riccio.

“Despite following all safety protocols that the governor required of her and all salons, and despite moving that May 20 date to June 1 without any safety-based reason, she now is left to waiting for June 1,” Riccio said.

Lamont has been hesitant to take enforcement action against any business.

Thibodeau could appeal the decision, but it’s likely June 1 will arrive before that happens. However, if Lamont extends the June 1 date further then her lawyer said she might reconsider her options.