Kozal v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission ***

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Kozal v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission ***

Case Number
Call Date
August 29, 2017
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Case Location
Case Summary

S-17-0441 Stuart Kozal, d/b/a Jumping Eagle Inn; Arrowhead Inn, Inc., d/b/a Arrowhead Inn; Clay Brehmer, d/b/a State Line Liquor; and Sanford Holding LLC, d/b/a D&S Pioneer Services (Appellees) v. Nebraska Liquor Control Commission and Hobart B. Rupe, Executive Director, (Appellant) and Abram Neumann, Lori Hankinson, Barb & David Vancil, (Citizen Protestants/Cross-Appellants)

Lancaster County District Court, Judge Andrew Jacobsen

Attorneys: Andrew W. Snyder (Chaloupka, Holyoke, Snyder, Chaloupka & Longoria, PC, LLO) (Appellees) --- James D. Smith & Milissa D. Johnson-Wiles (Attorney General’s Office) (Appellant) --- David A. Domina (DominaLaw Group pc llo) (Citizen Protestants/Cross-Appellants) --- Jonathan Seagrass, Adam Harper, and Jennifer Gaughan (Legal Aid of Nebraska) & Robert McEwen and Rebecca Gould (Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest) (Amici Curiae)

Civil: Nebraska Administrative Procedure Act; jurisdiction

Proceedings below: The district court found the order of the Liquor Control Commission denying liquor licenses to Appellees was arbitrary, unreasonable, exceeded statutory authority, and was contrary to law.  The district court vacated the Commission’s order.

Issues: The district court erred by 1) entering a judgment without jurisdiction, 2) applying an incorrect standard of review, and 3) vacating the Liquor Control Commission’s order by erroneously concluding that the Commission acted beyond its legal authority.

Issues on Cross-Appeal: The district court erred when it 1) exercised jurisdiction without all necessary parties before it, 2) exercised jurisdiction and purported to issue a ruling on the merits without notice of a hearing on the merits, 3) purported to decide the APA case before it without the Administrative Record or merits before it, and 4) held the NLCC acted beyond its authority to require submission of a “long-form”, and hold a hearing on the applications of the Appellees to renew their Class B Off-Sale Beer licenses as Whiteclay, Nebraska.

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