The owners of two campgrounds and two restaurants have filed a federal lawsuit challenging Gov. Janet Mills’ plans for reopening businesses in the state, alleging they are unconstitutional.

Friday night, lawyers for the campgrounds filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which would block Mills from implementing her reopening plan while the lawsuit moves forward.

Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough is one of four businesses that have filed a federal lawsuit arguing that Gov. Janet Mills’ plans for reopening businesses in the state are unconstitutional.  Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The lawsuit follows a similar one filed last week against Mills, which asked a federal court to find the restrictions on business activity in the governor’s executive orders unconstitutional.

The more recent suit against Mills was filed Friday in federal court in Portland by the owners of Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough and Little Ossipee Lake Campground in Waterboro, as well as the owner of two restaurants patronized primarily by those staying at Bayley’s.

The suit said Mills’ order that out-of-staters coming to Maine must quarantine for 14 days is an unconstitutional restriction on people’s right to travel freely from state to state.

Mills issued a new executive order Thursday to allow lodging operators to begin taking reservations for June 1, but it left the quarantine requirement in effect. A previous executive order had prohibited such reservations, except for essential workers.


The plaintiffs’ lawyers said in the filing that Bayley’s campground had 715 reservations canceled because of the requirement that campers undergo a 14-day quarantine prior to renting space there.

The suit also challenges Mills’ plan for a two-tiered reopening, which allows businesses in rural counties to reopen sooner than those in more urban counties, specifically York and Cumberland counties in southern Maine.

“The Rural Reopening plan creates ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of the same, similarly situated businesses,” the suit said, “based solely upon their location within the state of Maine, even though they carry on the same activities, provide the same services, and cater to the same clientele.”

Bayley’s campground and the management of the Little River Bar & Grill and Seaside Square Cafe are both based in Cumberland County; Little Ossipee Lake Campground is in York County. The suit also names three individuals – one in Maine and two in New Hampshire – who, the suit said, are deprived of their right to travel freely between the states because of the quarantine rule in Mills’ executive order.

Mills’ orders are similar to ones issued by other New England governors and are in keeping with the guidelines prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Thursday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down an extension of that state’s stay-at-home order, ruling it was “unlawful” and “unenforceable.”


Last week, nine Maine businesses filed suit against Mills in a bid to force the state to loosen pandemic restrictions that have forced them to shut down.

That lawsuit asks a U.S. District Court to rule that Mills’ executive orders restricting business activity are unconstitutional and to bar her from issuing similar ones in the future.

The attorney for the businesses, Steve Smith of Bangor, said in a prepared statement that Mills’ regulations, which were revised on May 8, “are arbitrary and capricious” and “favor big businesses over Maine’s lifeblood: its small businesses.”

Attorney General Aaron Frey said in response to that lawsuit that “the executive orders and the restarting plan at issue in this lawsuit were carefully crafted and have been reviewed and updated in order to protect Mainers’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will represent the governor and will vigorously defend the constitutionality” of Mills’ actions and her authority to protect public health.

Five of the nine businesses filing the lawsuit are in Cumberland County. They include a construction company, a wedding disc jockey, an antiques dealer, a tour operator, a hair salon operator, a securities consultant and a surgeon.

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