A Tarrant County judge ruled that an ACE Cash Express in Saginaw can stay open after the city ordered it to close along with other businesses because of the coronavirus.
The case raises issues about which companies are considered “essential” and a city’s right to order them closed in a public health emergency.
ACE Cash Express filed a lawsuit in Tarrant County District Court on Friday challenging the city’s order, arguing it is a financial institution not covered by a closure order issued by Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley.
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According to the lawsuit, the city had categorized the business as non-essential and labeled it a “nondepository financial institution” -- different than banks, which are allowed to stay open.
In fact, “ACE offers a multitude of essential financial services,” the company’s lawyers wrote.
"ACE exists to serve the 60 million unbanked and underbanked Americans, many of whom are facing unprecedented financial uncertainties due to the shelter-in-place orders," the company said in its lawsuit.
Judge Melody Wilkinson issued a temporary restraining order allowing the ACE location on Saginaw Boulevard to remain open.
A hearing is set for April 9.
"ACE will continue to fight to ensure the customers who rely on us have access to critical financial services during this time," the company said in a statement.
Saginaw city manager Gabriel Reamue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.