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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr. vs. SCDOR

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Revenue

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr.

Respondents:
South Carolina Department of Revenue
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
08-ALJ-17-0230-CC

APPEARANCES:
S. Jahue Moore, Esquire, for the Petitioner

Harry A. Hancock, Esquire, for the Respondent
 

ORDERS:

FINAL ORDER

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This contested case was tried before me on September 3, 2008. Both the Respondent, South Carolina Department of Revenue, and the Petitioner, Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr., were represented at the hearing. The parties have stipulated this Court has jurisdiction over this matter and the case was well tried by both sides. By agreement of counsel, Respondent presented evidence first, followed by the Petitioner, in order to give Petitioner a clear picture of the assertions he was to meet.

Prior to the beginning of trial, the parties introduced various exhibits into evidence. The exhibits were introduced without objection and have been thoroughly reviewed by the Court.

The Petitioner contests the denial of a bingo promoter’s license. For the reasons set forth herein, I grant Petitioner’s Motion for Judgment made at the conclusion of the evidence to the effect that the Petitioner is entitled to a bingo promoter’s license with stipulations which the Petitioner agreed to in open Court.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Based on the testimony and the materials presented to the Court, I the following findings of fact.

The Petitioner Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr. (Mitch) is a businessman and, at present, he operates the Snappy Car Wash in Columbia, S.C. and works many hours a week in pursuit of his business enterprise. Mitch is the son of Roy Mitchell Stevens, Sr. (Roy).

For some while, Roy was engaged as a bingo promoter. Recently, Roy plead guilty to a gambling offense in Federal Court and was sentenced to probation. Roy is precluded by virtue of the terms of his plea, as well as by the law of South Carolina (See S.C. Code Ann. § 12-21-4060) from managing or conducting a game or assisting in any manner with the bingo operation. Mitch is not planning to operate the bingo facility as a “straw man” for his father, Roy. Mitch plans to operate the facility on his own, free from any direct or indirect involvement by his father.

Roy is President of a business entity which owns a building in Goose Creek, South Carolina. The building is approximately 4,000 square feet and is situated on approximately one acre of land. There is a charity which operates a bingo game in the building.

About the time Roy lost his bingo license, Mitch applied for a bingo promoter’s license. The proposed location to be operated by Mitch as a bingo promoter is the Goose Creek location mentioned above. Mitch proposes to lease the Goose Creek location from the owner and sublet it to the charity. When the application for the license was filed by Mitch, the Department recognized the similarity in names between Mitch and his father. The Department also recognized the similarity of location and of potential employees. Thus, the Department legitimately questioned whether Roy would be directly or indirectly involved in managing or conducting a game, or assisting in any manner with the bingo operation should Mitch be issued a license.

When the Department became suspicious of the application, Mitch was asked to answer various questions under oath and did so. The Department, however, was not satisfied with all of the responses and was not totally satisfied with the application. Thus, the Department denied the application of Mitch for a bingo promoter’s license. Any irregularities in the application were either explained satisfactorily at hearing or corrective action taken prior to hearing.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER

Based on the testimony at the hearing, I find and conclude that the application for a bingo promoter’s license by Mitch is bona fide.

Mitch now meets all of the requirements of South Carolina law for the issuance of a bingo promoter’s license. As Mitch meets all of the qualification for a bingo promoter’s license, I find and conclude he is entitled to the issuance of such a license. The license shall contain a stipulation that Roy shall have no direct or indirect involvement in the operation of the bingo enterprise, and that Roy shall not be permitted to manage or conduct a game or assist in any manner with the bingo operation. Mitch may lease real estate from the entity in which Roy is an officer so long as Roy does nothing to directly or indirectly manage, conduct, or assist in any manner with the bingo operation at the location.

IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Motion for Judgment by Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr. be and hereby is granted. The Department shall immediately issue Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr. a bingo promoter’s license. The license shall contain a stipulation that Roy Mitchell Stevens, Sr. shall have nothing to do directly or indirectly with the operation of any Bingo business operated or promoted by Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr. and that Roy shall not be permitted to manage or conduct a game or assist in any manner with the bingo operation. Nothing contained in this Order shall prevent Roy Mitchell Stevens, Jr. from renting property from the entity in which his father is an officer and subletting the property to the charity for operation of a Bingo facility.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.

______________________________

John D. McLeod, Judge

Administrative Law Court

Columbia, South Carolina

September 5, 2008


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