The Kansas Court of Appeals said on Friday that it could not rule in cases involving two Lawrence liquor store owners' licenses.
The appeals court said Dan and Jill Blomgren haven't exhausted their options with the Kansas Department of Revenue.
A few years ago, the state launched an investigation into an alleged scheme involving hidden ownership of a liquor store.
In 2006 then-Douglas County District Judge Steve Six ruled that the department of revenue's Alcoholic Beverage Control division was within its rights to revoke Dan Blomgren's license for the Cork and Barrel store at 901 Miss. because of a hidden ownership scheme.
But Six also found that the state went too far in punishing Blomgren's wife, Jill, by revoking her license for the store at 2000 W. 23rd St.
During a July hearing before the appeals court, the Kansas Attorney General's office argued that Dan Blomgren tried to hide his ownership of Parkway Liquor Store to sidestep a state law that prohibits people from having an ownership interest in more than one liquor store, with the exception that a married couple can own one each. Dan Blomgren was accused of putting ownership of the store in a friend's name but maintaining control over the business.
Jill Blomgren conceded to having committed numerous violations at her store. But the Blomgrens' attorneys argued that there was no concealed ownership.
Dan Blomgren had asked the court of appeals to overturn Six's ruling that upheld the revocation of his license. At the same time, the revenue department asked the appeals court to overturn Six's ruling against the ABC about the issue of Jill Blomgren's liquor license.
On Friday, the appeals court ruled that the Blomgrens had not exhausted all administrative options with the revenue department and the ABC before seeking court relief. Therefore neither the district court nor the appeals court could invoke jurisdiction.
The Blomgrens still have 30 days to file an appeal with the Kansas Supreme Court. On Friday the Blomgrens couldn't be reached for comment.