South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Caldwell Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a Club Evolution vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Caldwell Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a Club Evolution

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Craig M. Pisarik, Esquire, Attorney for Respondent




This matter came before the Administrative Law Court (ALC or Court) on Respondent’s Motion for Rule To Show Cause (Motion for Contempt of Court) under ALC Rules 19 and 68, S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-630(A) (Supp. 2007), and Rule 65(f), SCRCP. The South Carolina Department of Revenue (Department) seeks a revocation of Caldwell Entertainment’s (Petitioner) liquor by the drink license and beer and wine permit for Club Evolution located at 1325 Longcreek Drive, Columbia, South Carolina. The Department also seeks civil and criminal penalties against Petitioner for Contempt of Court. After notice of the date, time, place, and nature of the hearing was timely served upon all parties, a hearing was held before me on February 14, 2008, at the offices of the ALC. The Department was represented by Craig M. Pisarik, Esq. The Petitioner did not appear.


Having observed the witnesses and exhibits presented at the hearing and closely passed upon their credibility, taking into consideration the burden of persuasion by the parties, I make the following Findings of Fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. On June 28, 2007, following an evidentiary hearing on a public protest of the renewal of a liquor by the drink license and beer and wine permit held by the Petitioner, this Court issued a Final Order (Order). The Order conditionally renewed Petitioner’s license and permit for the location, 1325 Longcreek Drive, Columbia, South Carolina, but placed 10 separate restrictions on the license and permit. The Court further ordered Petitioner to enter into a signed written agreement with the Department placing the same 10 restrictions on the license and permit.

2. On July 3, 2007, Dechrisha A. Caldwell, as sole corporate shareholder for Caldwell Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a Club Evolution, entered into an “Agreement as to Restrictions per ALJD Order 07-ALJ-17-0123-CC” with the Department.

3. The provisions of the Order and Restrictions Agreement provided, in part, as follows:

Such existing permit and license should be renewed subject to the following restrictions:


a. Operating Hours: Club Evolution may open for business no earlier than 6:00 p.m. and shall close by 1:30 a.m. on nights of operation as allowed under the laws of this State for a beer and wine permit and business liquor by the drink license. The Club will stop selling alcohol at 1:00 a.m. on these evenings. In the absence of a Local Option Permit providing for alcohol sales on Sundays, Club Evolution shall close at midnight on Saturday evenings.


b. Age of Admission: Patrons must be at least 23 years of age to enter Club Evolution. Club personnel must check the identification of persons to verify age before patrons are allowed to enter the premises.


c. Security: Club Evolution must increase its current security staff of four guards by at least two. Guards will be tasked with, including, but not limited to, policing parking areas, ensuring that patrons are parked only in designated club parking areas, and keeping outside noise to a minimum.


d. Noise: Noise outside and inside Club Evolution will be monitored and kept to a minimum.


e. Crowd Size: Club Evolution will keep crowd size at or below maximum occupancy pursuant to fire marshal regulations.


f. Parking: Club Evolution patrons must park in designated club-parking areas only. Patrons will not park in any non-club parking lot, including, but not limited to, parking lots owned by Mr. Darrell Jabour, the Hollows Apartments, and any other nearby apartment complex parking lots.


g. Earl Cooper will not be involved in the management of Club Evolution or have any responsibilities regarding the operations of the Club.


h. Club Management will meet with Capt. Plexico of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, at a place designated by him, at least once a month regarding club safety and any other concerns.


4. After issuance of the Order to renew Petitioner’s license and permit subject to the above restrictions, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department filed 26 separate “Incident Reports,” documenting violations of the license and permit restrictions from July 7, 2007 through February 10, 2008.

5. The Incident Reports document 53 violations of the Court’s Order and the signed Restrictions Agreement, including 23 violations of the Hours of Operation restriction, 6 violations of the Age of Admission restriction, 2 violations of the Security restriction, 7 violations of the Noise restriction, and 15 violations of the Parking restriction.

6. The Incident Reports also document 21 other incidences taking place at Club Evolution, including 5 incidences of fighting, 10 incidences of gun possession or gun shots fired, 3 incidences of drug possession or drug use, and 3 incidences of causing property damage or leaving trash on neighboring properties.

7. On February 14, 2007, prior to the incidences at Club Evolution, this Court revoked Petitioner’s liquor by the drink license and beer and wine permit for Club Liquids, located at 5511 Forest Drive, Columbia, South Carolina, for violating restrictions placed on the license and permit.

8. On December 18, 2007, the Department filed a Notice of Motion and Motion for Rule to Show Cause (Motion for Contempt of Court), Petition in Support of Notice of Motion and Motion for Rule to Show Cause, and Verification in Support of these Motions. On January 11, 2008, the Department served Petitioner, by personal service, with a copy of these Motions, including the place, date, and time of the hearing.

9. On February 11, 2008, Petitioner forfeited its liquor by the drink license and beer and wine permit for Club Evolution by surrendering the same to the Department.

10. The sole shareholder of Caldwell Entertainment is Dechrisha Caldwell. Her husband, Bryant Caldwell, testified at the May 16, 2007 renewal hearing that he also had a management role in the operations of Club Evolution.


Based upon the above Findings of Fact, I conclude the following as a matter of law:

1. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600 (Supp. 2007) grants jurisdiction to the ALC to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act. Specifically, S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2007) grants the ALC the authority to hear contested case hearings in matters governing alcoholic beverages, beer, and wine.

2. Permits and licenses issued by this State for the sale of liquor, beer, and wine are privileges to be used and enjoyed only so long as the holder complies with the restrictions and conditions governing them. See Feldman v. S.C. Tax Comm'n, 203 S.C. 49, 26 S.E.2d 22 (1943).

3. Here, Petitioner blatantly and repeatedly violated the Court’s June 28, 2007 Order and the signed Restrictions Agreement between the dates of July 7, 2007, and February 10, 2008. The Incident Reports, along with testimony from Richland County Sheriff’s Captains Robert Plexico and Joe Shampine and neighboring property owners and managers Darrell Jabour and Allison Bass, show an egregious pattern of violations displaying Petitioner’s lack of control over Club Evolution, as well as, its lack of respect for its neighbors, the Sheriff’s Office, and this Court. Captain Plexico and Captain Shampine testified to changes the Sheriff’s Department has been forced to make as a result of the problems at Club Evolution. Neighboring property owners and managers, Mr. Jabour and Ms. Bass, described numerous violations of the Parking restrictions, as well as, property damage and an inability to sell their property due to the constant problems at Club Evolution.

4. Allowing Petitioner to escape responsibility by forfeiting its alcohol license and permit before the scheduled Rule to Show Cause/Contempt of Court hearing would suggest that future license holders can ignore this State’s laws and ALC orders without threat of sanction. As such, I find that Petitioner’s license and permit to serve liquor, beer, and wine at Club Evolution are hereby revoked. This revocation is to have the same legal effect as if Petitioner still held the subject license and permit. The revocation shall further be effective as to Petitioner’s sole shareholder, Dechrisha Caldwell, and her husband, Bryant Caldwell, who exercised management authority for Club Evolution.

5. I further find Petitioner in Contempt of Court. The excessive number and frequency of violations show Petitioner’s deliberate disregard for the Court’s Order. Petitioner’s lack of respect for this Court is further evidenced by its absence at the February 14, 2008 hearing. The present violations further indicate that the previous revocation of Petitioner’s alcohol license for Club Liquids alone was not a sufficient deterrent for violating this Court’s Orders. Therefore, Petitioner is ordered to pay a fine of $200.00 per violation of the Court’s June 28, 2007 Order, a total fine of $10,600.00.

6. In addition to testimony regarding Petitioner’s violations, Captain Plexico, Captain Shampine, Mr. Jabour, and Ms. Bass testified to the history of problems at 1325 Longcreek Drive. These problems have been facilitated by the inadequacy of the location, including, but not limited to, its small size, limited parking spaces, and the residential character of the neighborhood. I find that the subject location is undesirable for creating a nightclub establishment, similar to Club Evolution. I further find that all future alcohol license and permit applications for this location should be closely scrutinized to determine the character and nature of the proposed establishment. If evidence suggests that a future applicant intends on creating a nightclub, the Court shall seriously consider denying or applying rigid restrictions to the license and permit unless a clear showing is made to the contrary.


Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner’s liquor by the drink license and beer and wine permit for Club Evolution at 1325 Longcreek Drive, Columbia, South Carolina, are revoked.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner is in Contempt of Court and shall pay a $200.00 fine for each of the violations of the Court’s June 28, 2007 Order, for a total of $10,600.00, to the Department no later than thirty (30) days after the date of this Final Order and Decision.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this location is unsuitable for nightclubs and establishments similar to Club Evolution and that all future alcohol license and permit applications should be closely scrutinized to determine the nature and character of the establishment.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, if possible, any further contested alcohol license and permit applications at 1325 Longcreek Drive, Columbia, South Carolina, be assigned to the undersigned because of his knowledge of the prior applications there.




February 25, 2008 JOHN D. MCLEOD, Judge

Columbia, SC Administrative Law Court


Brown Bldg.






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