156 N.W.2d 425 (Wis. 1968), Marquette Sav. & Loan Ass'n v. Village of Twin Lakes

Citation:156 N.W.2d 425, 38 Wis.2d 310
Opinion Judge:The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hansen
Party Name:MARQUETTE SAVINGS & LOAN ASSN., a body corporate, Appellant, v. VILLAGE OF TWIN LAKES, a municipal corporation, Respondent.
Attorney:For the appellant there was a brief by Morrissy, Morrissy, Sweet & Stowe of Elkhorn, and oral argument by Lowell E. Sweet.
Case Date:February 27, 1968
Court:Supreme Court of Wisconsin

Page 425

156 N.W.2d 425 (Wis. 1968)

38 Wis.2d 310

MARQUETTE SAVINGS & LOAN ASSN., a body corporate, Appellant,


VILLAGE OF TWIN LAKES, a municipal corporation, Respondent.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

February 27, 1968.

Page 426

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 427

Morrissy, Morrissy, Sweet & Stowe, Elkhorn, for appellant.

Hammond & Tennessen, Kenosha, for respondent.


The plaintiff urges us to recognize a property and contract right between the licensee and a third party as paramount to the well-established 'privilage' concept that exists between the [38 Wis.2d 315] licensee and the issuing authority. The adoption of such rationale would permit the licensee and a third party to enter into a contract which would negate the discretionary authority of the licensing board in granting and reviewing such licenses. This would be against public policy.

This court has previously held that an agreement between a lessor and the licensee as to a liquor license cannot affect the jurisdiction conferred upon the city council by statute to act upon license transfers. Smith v. City of Whitewater (1947), 251 Wis. 306, 311, 29 N.W.2d 33; Smith v. City of Whitewater (1947), 251 Wis. 313, 29 N.W.2d 37.

The right to hold a liquor license is a privilege that inures to the benefit of the licensee as determined by the exercise of the discretionary authority vested in a licensing board. See State v. Bayne (1898), 100 Wis. 35, 38, 75 N.W. 403. This proposition is advanced in 9 McQuillin, Municipal

Page 428

Corporations, 3rd ed., pp. 508--510, sec. 26.195:

's 26.195.--As right or privilege.

'There is no vested right to or under a liquor license. There is at most a privilege, personal in character, which, it has been said, is merely to do what otherwise would be, or could be made, an offense, and which is subject to changing regulations, and even to legislative cancellation. A liquor license or permit creates neither a contract nor a property right, and denial of it by a proper authority with discretion in the matter deprives an applicant of neither liberty nor property. But it has been asserted that a liquor licensee has something more than a 'mere privilege.' He is protected by law against arbitrary or discriminatory deprivation of the privilege or right, irrespective of what it is called, that he obtains under the license, particularly where he has...

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