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Local Grim Reaper attorney disputing claims that beach closure suit was frivolous


SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)–When News 13 first spoke with Walton County attorney, Daniel Uhlfelder, he was dressed as the Grim Reaper protesting Florida’s beaches being open. It started after he filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis for not issuing stronger Coronavirus guidelines. Uhlfelder is now disputing claims that the case is frivolous and was pursued in bad faith.

The Santa Rosa Beach attorney filed the suit in March, arguing the Governor should close all beaches and issue a Safer at Home order.

“I’ve been spending my time pretty much free pro bono just trying to do this as a citizen and a lawyer and I believe in what I’m doing and I believe it was right,” said Uhlfelder.

But a few weeks ago, the First District Court of Appeals rejected the case, saying it was frivolous and pursued in bad faith.

“It was an effort in good faith, it was an effort because I care about human life and that’s what this is about, life and protecting life,” said Uhlfelder.

On Friday, the attorney and his lawyers filed a 19 page response disputing such claims.

“This is basically a constitutional argument we were making that we felt was proper to be brought before the court,” said Uhlfelder.

The court also mentioned Uhlfelder could face sanctions. He hopes the brief filed on Friday will prove his intentions.

“They gave me 15 days to file a response and we did that and hopefully they’ll read that and make a decision that is hopefully the right way to go,” said Uhlfelder.

Uhlfelder has yet to hear back from the court. As Florida approaches one million cases, he says the state needs to prioritize mask wearing and transparency.

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