South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Marian Basden, d/b/a North 21 General Store vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Marian Basden, d/b/a North 21 General Store
6216 North Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29203

South Carolina Department of Revenue

James H. Harrison, Esquire, for the Petitioner

Jeffrey M. Nelson, Esquire, for the Respondent




This contested case is before the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division pursuant to the Petitioner's request for review of the Respondent's Final Agency Determination dated November 7, 2000. The Respondent denied the Petitioner's renewal of an on-premises beer and wine permit based on a pending violation and numerous protests by the public as to the suitability of the location. (1) A hearing on the merits was held February 16, 2001. (2) Notice of the time, date, place, location, and nature of the hearing was timely sent to all parties, as well as the Protestants.


Having observed the testimony of the witnesses and exhibits presented at the hearing and closely passed upon their credibility, I make the following Findings of Fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

  • Notice of the time, date, place and subject matter of the hearing was given to all parties in a timely manner.

  • The Petitioner is the business owner of North 21 General Store located at 6216 North Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina in Richland County. The Petitioner holds an on-premises beer and wine permit (#BW-002365) for this location, which was issued originally on May 9, 1989.

  • The Petitioner seeks the renewal of her on-premises beer and wine permit.

  • In July 1999, the Petitioner paid a $400.00 penalty to the Department for a violation of S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-80 - violating a permit condition by permitting loitering on the property.

  • On July 6, 2000, SLED issued two administrative citations to the Petitioner: (1) violating 23 S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-82 (1976) by hindering an inspection of premises licensed for the sale of beer and wine, and (2) violating S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-80 by failing to comply with a stipulated restriction on the beer and wine permit that stated the licensee "must control loitering outside the building." Also, SLED issued a criminal citation to the Petitioner for Refusal to Permit/Hindering an Inspection pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-230.

  • On August 15, 2000, the Petitioner was convicted in Magistrate's Court on the criminal charge of Refusal to Permit/Hindering an Inspection. The Petitioner did not contest the charge, and paid a $425.00 fine.

  • The North 21 General Store has involved into a gathering place for patrons who consume alcoholic beverages in the parking lot. The nature of the business attracts a large number of people whose numbers have steadily increased during the last several years.

  • During 1999, there were 90 separate incidents at the location to which the Columbia Police Department responded at this location, ranging from public drunkeness to loitering to gunshots to a fatal stabbing.

  • The activity which has occurred at the location includes drug use, drug sales, public drunkeness, solicitation for prostitution, fighting, indecent exposure, public urination, and loud music, all of which has a detrimental effect on the surrounding community which includes a church and an elementary school in close proximity.

  • The surrounding community has been unable to attract reputable new businesses because of the problems at this location.


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

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600 (Supp. 2000) grants jurisdiction to the Administrative Law Judge Division to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act. Specifically, S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2000) grants the Administrative Law Judge Division the authority to hear contested case hearings in matters governing alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

  • The factual determination of whether or not an application is granted or denied is usually the sole prerogative of the agency charged with rendering that decision. Palmer v. South Carolina ABC Comm'n, 282 S.C. 246, 317 S.E.2d 476 (Ct. App. 1984).

  • Although "proper location" is not statutorily defined, broad discretion is vested in the trier of fact to determine the fitness or suitability of the proposed business location of an applicant who is seeking a permit to sell beer and wine. Fast Stops, Inc., v. Ingram, 276 S.C. 593, 281 S.E.2d 119 (1981);Ronald F. Byers v. South Carolina ABC Comm'n, 281 S.C. 566, 316 S.E.2d 705 (Ct. App. 1984).

  • It is also the fact finder's responsibility to judge the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses and determine the relevance and weight of any testimony offered.

  • The determination of suitability of location is not necessarily a function solely of geography. It involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact on the community within which it is to be located. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E.2d 335 (1985). Any evidence adverse to the location may be considered. Byers v. South Carolina ABC Comm'n, 305 S.C. 243, 407 S.E.2d 653 (1991). Further, the Judge may consider whether there have been law enforcement problems in the area. Palmer v. South Carolina ABC Comm'n, 282 S.C. 246, 317 S.E.2d 476 (Ct. App. 1984). Also, the Judge may consider the proximity or the absence of other licensed locations in the immediate vicinity, as well as the existence of small children in the area.

  • In considering the suitability of a location, it is relevant to consider the previous history of the proposed location and to determine whether the testimony in opposition to a permit consists of opinions and conclusions or is supported by facts. Taylor v. Lewis, 261 S.C. 168, 198 S.E.2d 801 (1973).

  • Without sufficient evidence of an adverse impact on the community, the application must not be denied if the statutory criteria are satisfied. The fact that a Protestant objects to the issuance of a permit is not a sufficient reason alone to deny the application. 48 C.J.S. Intoxicating Liquors § 119 (1981).

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-525 (Supp. 2000) provides that a person residing in the county in which a beer and wine permit is requested to be granted, or a person residing within five (5) miles of the location, may protest the issuance of the permit if he files a written protest.

  • Permits and licenses issued by the State are not rights or property, but are rather privileges granted in the exercise of the police power of the State. See Feldman v. South Carolina Tax Comm'n, 201 S.C. 49, 26 S.E.2d 22 (1943).

  • In this instance there was specific and credible testimony showing that the renewing of a permit to the Petitioner would have a detrimental impact on the community and could place undue burdens on local law enforcement.

  • In reaching the above conclusion, I have considered the genuineness of the concerns expressed by neighbors and also the character of the Petitioner. Based upon the totality of the facts presented at the hearing and considering the credibility of all the witnesses, however, it is my conclusion that the location is not proper for the grant of an on-premises beer and wine permit.


Based upon the above Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is hereby:

ORDERED that the renewal of the Petitioner's on-premises beer and wine permit for 6216 North Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina is denied.




Administrative Law Judge

April 24, 2001

Columbia, South Carolina


The following are Protestants who both registered official protests with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and testified in opposition to the license renewal at the hearing:

Mary Ellen Amaker Newcastle Terrace Concerned Citizens Organization

Cynthia Bookman

Rev. Steve Beatty

Representative Joe Brown South Carolina House of Representatives

Odell Bookert

Doris Caldwell

Capt. Norman Caldwell City of Columbia Police Department, Regional Commander

North Region of Columbia

Maude Christopher

Rev. Wiley Cooper College Place United Methodist Church

Charlotte Costen

Councilman Sam Davis Columbia City Council

Betty L. Duckett

Alvin and Marcia Ellison

Charles Fogel

Darlene Henderson

Willie Hinton

Henry T. Hopkins

Lomas Gist

Nancy A. Gough

Don Johnson, Esq. Special City Prosecutor, 5th Cir. Solicitors Office

Doris Jumper College Place Community Council

Lizzi S. Mabry

Mr. McBride

Charlotte McCoy

James McQueen

Harry L. Mitchell

Rev. Rufus L. Mosby Greenview Baptist Church

Mrs. Gwen Moultrie Adjacent business owner

Nathaniel Moyd

Sen. Kay Patterson South Carolina Senate

Earl Reuben

Sandra Richardson

Barbara Robinson

Phillip Scott

Billy Singeltary

Kim Smith

Carlton Spivey

Doug Sutton

Freddie Taylor

Thelma Tillis Richland County Council

Phillip E. Tisdale

Jennell Tisdale

Doris W. White

Zenobia M. Wise

Willie M. Wise

Rev. Marshall Jehovah Baptist Church

Rhonda Wroten

1. For a complete list of protestants, see Attachment "A" to this Order.

2. This matter was heard at the same time as a Docket No. 00-ALJ-17-0621-CC, a separate case involving a violation of the permit conditions by the Petitioner. In a separate order, the Petitioner was fined $500.00 for hindering the inspection of the permises.

Brown Bldg.






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