MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court says an Amish man failed to show how a permit for his new sawmill would violate his religion.
Jackson County officials cited Joni Borntreger last year for building the mill without a zoning permit. Borntreger argued his forefathers never dealt with permits.
Circuit Judge Thomas Lister imposed a $100 forfeiture on Borntreger following a bench trial in December. Then a woman who identified herself as a friend of the Amish addressed the judge and argued permits violate the Amish adherence to simplicity. An unidentified man also quoted Bible verses about not conforming to the world.
Lister changed course and ruled against the county.
But the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that nothing in the record shows how a permit would infringe on Borntreger's beliefs.