Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, fined nearly $130,000 after defying closure order

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Defiant NJ gym owners say they are not backing down
The owners of the defiant Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey say they won't back down, despite mounting fines.

BELLMAWR, New Jersey -- A judge has imposed nearly $130,000 in fines against the owners of a gym that has repeatedly defied Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order to remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Atilis gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey opened its doors in May, starting a legal battle over whether Murphy's order for nonessential businesses to remain closed was constitutional. The owners, Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, have said they have taken steps to ensure social distancing and taken other safety precautions.

The Atilis Gym made a dramatic re-open Saturday morning. This comes just days after the owners were arrested and the gym was shut down by officials.

In issuing his order Tuesday, state Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy said the gym could not "ignore orders with which it does not agree."

The decision requires the gym and its owners to pay almost $125,000 overall for violating a court order on eight days between Aug. 1-14. and about $10,500 to the state for the legal costs of its contempt of court action.

The gym owners and their attorney could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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