Because indoor dining has not yet been allowed in New York City, the ruling would not appear to apply to wedding venues there.
The decision, which was issued on Friday, came in response to a lawsuit filed by two couples who had booked weddings at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron, N.Y., about a half-hour’s drive northeast of Buffalo.
Lawyers for the state argued in legal filings that “the court should not second-guess the state’s response to a health crisis.”
But the plaintiffs argued in their complaint that their wedding parties should be allowed to proceed because the Arrowhead rooms that are used for receptions were large enough to legally seat well over 50 people when operating as restaurants.
Judge Suddaby agreed.
“The court can find no rational basis for this state’s difference in treatment between use of the venues in question for ordinary dining and use of those venues for weddings,” he wrote, noting that the plaintiffs and the Arrowhead’s owners had pledged to abide by social distancing, mask wearing and all other public-health rules adopted amid the pandemic.
Anthony Rupp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he was “extraordinarily pleased” with the ruling.
Caitlin Girouard, the governor’s press secretary, described Judge Suddaby’s ruling as “irresponsible at best as it would allow for large, nonessential gatherings that endanger public health” and said the administration would “pursue all available legal remedies immediately.”
Elsewhere in the New York area:
New York’s governor said Tuesday that the state will now require travelers from Hawaii, South Dakota and the U.S. Virgin Islands to quarantine for 14 days, an addition to a list of 29 other states and Puerto Rico. The weekly update also saw Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington State removed from the list. Many states across the country have added travel restrictions.
Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Luke Broadwater, Nick Bruce, Troy Closson, Emily Cochrane, Lindsey Rogers Cook, Shaila Dewan, Caitlin Dickerson, John Eligon, Sheri Fink, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Robert Gebeloff, Matthew Haag, Danielle Ivory, Sarah Kliff, Andrew E. Kramer, Mark Landler, Apoorva Mandavilli, Patrick McGeehan, Sarah Mervosh, Alan Rappeport, Emily Rhyne, Frances Robles, Erin Schaff, Ed Shanahan, Michael D. Shear, Mitch Smith, Kaly Soto, Eileen Sullivan, Lucy Tompkins, Julie Turkewitz, Will Wright, Katherine J. Wu, Jin Wu, Elaine Yu, Carl Zimmer and Karen Zraick.