Wisconsin judge clarifies home-baked goods ruling only applies t - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin judge clarifies home-baked goods ruling only applies to plaintiffs

Posted: Updated:

DARLINGTON (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin judge disagreed Wednesday to hand down another ruling that would apply his decision to anyone other than the three home bakers included in his May ruling.

On May 31st, Lafayette County Judge Duane Jorgenson ruled a state law that bans people from selling homemade baked goods is unconstitutional. He ruled in favor of three women who challenged the law they say made it impossible for home bakers to legally sell their treats.

As of Wednesday, his ruling still only applies those plaintiffs, Kriss Marion, Lisa Kirvirst, and Dela Ends.

"I was really surprised," said Rebecca Otte-Ford, who is still banned from selling her gluten-free baked goods. "I don't want to start a million dollar business that's not my goal, I want to be able to make cupcakes for people's weddings and birthday cakes for kids with Celiac disease."

Otte-Ford is one of many Wisconsinites who thought they'd be able to start selling their home-baked goods after the judge ruled against the state in May.

"Immediately after that ruling, the state continued to enforce the baking ban against everyone but the three plaintiffs in this case," said Erica Smith, an attorney for the women who filed the lawsuit. "The court today was reluctant to stop that behavior, [Judge Jorgenson] thinks that the case law restricts the relief he gives in his case to just the three plaintiffs, we disagree."

During Wednesday's hearing, Judge Jorgenson said: "I'm very reluctant to extend this order to similarly situated individuals cause I believe it goes beyond the scope of what this court's decision was."

Smith asked the judge to consider adding an amendment to the original lawsuit that would include the Farmer's Union as a plaintiff. 

Whether the judge will accept that amendment along with his ruling, will be decided at a later date. 

Kriss Marion, one of the three bakers included in the lawsuit, says not allowing everyone who falls under the same criteria as her to sell their home-baked goods, is a "big waste of taxpayer money."

"They've created a scenario where everybody who wants to bake has to sue the state on their own," said Marion. "Anyone else who gets prosecuted for baking and selling, they should be able to sue and win because of our case."

Marion, along with the two other plaintiffs, says they want home bakers to put pressure on the assembly to vote for the Cookie Bill, which a state senate committee passed on June 14th. 

The bill allows people to sell up to $25,000 worth of home-baked goods per year without obtaining a food processing plant license.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has stopped past attempts to eliminate the licensing requirement for home bakers. 

The bill is opposed by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, Wisconsin Grocers Association, and the Wisconsin Public Health Association.

Powered by Frankly