Beaver Dam bar owner appeals license suspension

January 24, 2019

Johnny’s Lounge is fighting back.

Johnny’s owner, Amanda Hammen, and her attorney Brent Eisberner filed an appeal in Dodge County Circuit Court to the Beaver Dam Common Council’s decision Monday to suspend the bar’s license for 15 days. The suspension will not come into effect as the legal process continues.

With the appeal, Johnny’s Lounge is arguing that officials made procedural errors in the way they moved forward with the process that violate state law and should invalidate the decision. Eisberner has also said that the city’s demerit point system is not being fairly applied to all bars by the police department.

Eisberner also said he will file a federal lawsuit and challenges the city’s demerit point system itself.

The council voted to suspend the license after a lengthy process under the city’s demerit point system that began last summer. Police alleged that, in June, a man sucker punched another man after the two got into an altercation. The police department said that no one from the bar called them after the incident. The man accused of throwing the punch received a municipal citation for battery, but he was never charged in circuit court with a crime.

In another incident from 2017, a woman was accused of serving her boyfriend while he was under a no-alcohol order. She was found guilty after pleading no contest to the offense. The police department assigned enough points under the demerit system for the two incidents to trigger the process that led to the suspension.

The appeal was assigned to Judge Martin De Vries and a hearing has not been scheduled yet.

The council’s administrative committee has yet to receive more information about what will happen next after the police department separately assigned more demerit points for an incident in December. Police allege that two women, one of whom was under 21 and should not have been on site, got into a fight. The underage women threw a beer bottle and hit the other woman with a glass.

Topacio Calderon, 20, was charged with battery in court Tuesday. Police requested charges for the other woman, but she has not been charged with anything as of Wednesday.

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