(14m) APPEALS TO THE CIRCUIT COURT. (a) An indi-vidual aggrieved by any action by the department deny-
ing an application for, or suspending or revoking, a
license under this section, may appeal directly to the cir-
cuit court of the county in which the individual resides
without regard to whether the individual has sought
review under the process established in sub. (14g).
(b) To begin an appeal under this subsection, the
aggrieved individual shall file a petition for review with
the clerk of the applicable circuit court within 30 days
receiving notice of denial of an application for a license
or of suspension or revocation of a license. The petition
shall state the substance of the department’s action from
which the individual is appealing and the grounds upon
which the individual believes the department’s action to
be improper. The petition may include a copy of any
records or documents that are relevant to the grounds
upon which the individual believes the department’s
action to be improper.
(c) A copy of the petition shall be served upon the
department either personally or by registered or certified
mail within 5 days
after the individual files his or her peti-
tion under par. (b).
(d) The department shall file an answer within 15
after being served with the petition under par. (c).
The answer shall include a brief statement of the actions
taken by the department. The department shall include
with the answer when filed a copy of any documents or
records on which the department based its action.
(e) The court shall review the petition, the answer,
and any records or documents submitted with the petition
or the answer. The review under this paragraph shall be
conducted by the court without a jury but the court may
schedule a hearing and take testimony.
(f) The court shall reverse the department’s action if
the court finds any of the following:
1. That the department failed to follow any proce-
dure, or take any action, prescribed under this section.
2. That the department erroneously interpreted a pro-
vision of law and a correct interpretation compels a dif-
3. That the department’s action depends on a finding
of fact that is not supported by substantial evidence in the
4. a. If the appeal is regarding a denial, that the denial
was based on factors other than the factors under sub. (3).
b. If the appeal is regarding a suspension or revoca-
tion, that the suspension or revocation was based on crite-
ria other than those under sub. (14) (a) or (am).
(g) 1. The court’s decision shall provide whatever
relief is appropriate regardless of the original form of the
2. If the court reverses the department’s action, the
court may order the department to pay the aggrieved indi-
vidual all court costs and reasonable attorney fees.