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IC Willy's case heads to State Supreme Court next month


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - Oral arguments in front of the State Supreme Court have been scheduled in the case of Nowell v Wausau.

That's the case stemming from the liquor license revocation against the former IC Willy's Bar in Wausau. The court announced Thursday that they'll hear arguments September 18th at 9:45 am.

At issue is whether or not an appeal of a license revocation should be handled as an entirely new case and hearing or as a review of revocation already performed by the municipality.

The attorney for Thomas Nowell says that these cases need to be held de novo. The state appeals court agreed with Nowell last year.

Wausau attorney Shane Vander Waal says the appeals court made an error in judgement. Under previous rulings and state practice, circuit courts would only judge whether or not a municipality's actions were reasonable in a revocation, and usually not overturn the decision unless missteps were made in the hearing and investigation process.

Vander Waal says the Appeals Court ruling undermines the work that municipalities put into the hearing process and renders any decisions they make pointless.

Milwaukee, Madison, and Racine have joined the League of Wisconsin Municipalities in filing briefs to the court supporting Wausau’s position.