Helbachs Coffee sues City of Madison, Dane County over mask mandate Helbachs Coffee in Middleton is suing the City of Madison and Dane County over the mask mandate, arguing that the order is unlawful and not in the public’s interest. The suit comes after the coffeehouse hung a sign on their business that read “Mask-Free Zone” and asked employees and customers to not wear face masks inside the business. Public Health Madison & Dane County then issued three citations against the business and threatened to remove Helbachs’ food and drink license. According to court documents filed in Dane County on Monday, Helbachs Cafe LLC filed suit against the county and the city, as well as local officials including Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County Janel Heinrich, Assistant City Attorney Marci Paulsen, and Public Health Services Supervisor Bonnie Koenig. The lawsuit argues that posting the sign was protected free speech, it was only up for 30 minutes, and was not enforced, the Associated Press reports. “Rather, it was intended as purely a statement of disagreement with Government policy,” the lawsuit said. Helbachs also alleges that it was illegally singled out for enforcement; the county has no authority to require stores to post a sign saying masks are required; the coffee shop was denied equal protection under the law; and the order was an unconstitutional taking of property because its impact hurt the coffee shop’s business and led to an intent to revoke its license. Helbachs’ attorney Brent Eisberner, as well as attorneys for the city of Madison and Dane County, did not immediately return messages Tuesday.