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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

United Methodist Manor of the Pee Dee, d/b/a Methodist Manor vs.

South Carolina Department of Revenue

United Methodist Manor of the Pee Dee, d/b/a Methodist Manor

South Carolina Department of Revenue

For the Petitioner:
James H. Harrison, Esquire

For the Respondent:
Carol I. McMahan, Esquire

For the Protestant:
No Appearance



This matter is before the Administrative Law Court (“ALC”) pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310 et seq. (2005), S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600(B) (Supp. 2006), and S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2006) for a contested case hearing. The Petitioner, United Methodist Manor of the Pee Dee, d/b/a Methodist Manor, applied for a permit to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption pursuant to §§ 61-4-500 et seq. for the location at 2100 Twin Church Road in Florence, South Carolina 29501. Carolyn Pearce[1] (“Protestant”) filed a written protest to Petitioner’s application. Respondent South Carolina Department of Revenue (“Department”) denied the application pursuant to § 61-4-525 due to the receipt of the Protestant’s valid public protest. The Department stipulated that it would have granted the permit but for the receipt of the public protests.

After notice to the parties and Protestant, the court held a hearing on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at the ALC in Columbia, South Carolina. The Petitioner was present at the hearing as was the Department. The Protestant did not appear at the hearing and did not notify the court that she would not be appearing.

After waiting approximately fifteen minutes for the Protestant to appear, the court deemed the protest invalid for failure to appear pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-525(C). See § 61-4-525(C) (“If the protestant, during the investigation expresses no desire to attend a contested hearing and offer testimony, the protest is considered invalid, and the department shall continue to process the application and shall issue the permit if all other statutory requirements are met.”). In addition, ALC Rule 23 provides:

The administrative law judge may dismiss a contested case or dispose of a contested case adverse to the defaulting party. A default occurs when a party fails to plead or otherwise prosecute or defend, fails to appear at a hearing without the proper consent of the judge or fails to comply with any interlocutory order of the administrative law judge. Any non‑defaulting party may move for an order dismissing the case or terminating it adversely to the defaulting party.

Because the Protestant did not appear for the hearing and has not otherwise contacted this tribunal regarding this hearing as of the issuance of this Order, it is hereby

ORDERED that this matter is remanded to the Department of Revenue with instructions to continue processing the Petitioner’s application and to issue the requested on premises beer and wine permit pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-525(C) and § 61-4-540 (Supp. 2006).




Administrative Law Judge

October 17, 2007

Columbia, South Carolina

[1] All other public protests filed in this matter were either withdrawn or deemed abandoned because the Protestants indicated that they would not be attending the hearing.


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