Club Trumps City

Molly Otis, a former touring artist and owner of a club called The Pavilion in Hayward, Wis., has won a lengthy battle against the city.

Hayward passed a law in 2007 requiring anyone presenting outdoor music after 10 p.m. to have an ordinance passed to permit it. Each violation had an escalating fine of $50, $100 and $200, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Otis, who once fronted Molly & The Heymakers, would perform acoustic music on the venue’s courtyard with The Danger Band. Shows took place a couple of nights a week and would last until midnight, according to the paper.

Otis won a verdict against the city in August, but the city attempted to have the decision reversed or reduced. A federal judge recently upheld the decision, and Otis will get $628,000 from the city.

“As a musician and small-business owner I hope my case has and will continue to send a strong message to public officials about the importance of music as protected expression under the U.S. Constitution,” Otis told the Journal-Sentinel.