Texture Nightclub: Court orders city of Milwaukee to issue liquor license to Texture

For more information contact: Attorney Matthew Lerner – 414-870-6288

In an Order issued today, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Moroney issued a Writ of Mandamus commanding the City of Milwaukee to issue Texture Nightclub its liquor license. Texture’s license was previously non-renewed by the city on July 26th.

In his decision, Judge Moroney ruled that the meeting notices utilized by the city are not sufficient. The judge further determined that the city’s policy of sometimes limiting license hearings to thirty minutes failed to provide Texture with sufficient time to present its case. Moroney also concluded that the city’s decision to non-renew the license was not based on substantial evidence as a result of the police not objecting to the license and the lone objector’s testimony being impeached, the fact that the lone objector could not be sure whether the issues the objector complained of were coming from Texture or one of the thirteen other taverns in close proximity to the objector’s home, and the objector’s admission that she could not see the club’s entrance from her home.

The court concluded that the city’s actions were contrary to law, arbitrary, oppressive, and unreasonable and went on to write that the city’s non-renewal of Texture’s license was not supported by the evidence.

The court then took extraordinary action by issuing a Writ of Mandamus which requires the City of Milwaukee to issue Texture its tavern and tavern amusement license for the 2011-2012 license year. Such a remedy is rarely granted by the courts.

Texture’s attorney, Matthew Lerner, stated, “This decision is potentially far reaching as it calls into question many of the procedures and practices utilized by the city during its licensing process.”

Donato Salvo, an owner of Texture, stated, “We are extremely pleased with today’s decision and we look forward to continuing our club’s operations. At the same time, we are disappointed that the City of Milwaukee refuses to change its ways and has forced us to take them to court, successfully, for two consecutive years, resulting in the courts, both times, requiring that the city issue our license. It is a shame that business owners must rely on their lawyers and the court system in order to obtain the licenses that have been illegally withheld from them.”