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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Dorothy M. Glover, d/b/a 521 South Liquor Store vs. DOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Dorothy M. Glover, d/b/a 521 South Liquor Store
35B Horatio Hagood Road, Rembert, SC

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Christopher R. Hart, Esquire, for the Petitioner

Carol I. McMahan, Esquire, for the Respondent

Chief Deputy Anthony Dennis, for Protestant, Office of the Sheriff, Sumter County




This matter comes before the Administrative Law Judge Division (Division) pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-6-100 et seq. (Supp. 2002), § 61-6-910 (Supp. 2002), and §§ 1-23-310 et seq. (1986 and Supp. 2002) for a contested case hearing. The Petitioner, Dorothy M. Glover, d/b/a 521 South Liquor Store, seeks a retail liquor license. The Respondent stipulated that the applicant and the location meet the statutory requirements for granting the license, and that the only issue is the suitability of the location as raised by the protest. The Protestant has raised concerns about the suitability of the location in light of the number of beer and wine permits and retail liquor licenses in the area, and the ability of the Sheriff’s Office to adequately police the area. A hearing was held on this matter on June 26, 2003, at the offices of the Division in Columbia, South Carolina. Proper notice was given to the Parties and the Protestant, and they were present as indicated above.


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 and the Protestant, I make the following Findings of Fact by a preponderance of evidence:

1.Notice of the time, date, place and subject matter of the hearing was given to the Petitioner, the Respondent, and the Protestant.

2.The Petitioner, Dorothy M. Glover, d/b/a 521 South Liquor Store, is seeking a retail liquor license. The proposed location is located at 35 B Horatio Hagood Road, Rembert, South Carolina.

3.The qualifications set forth in S. C. Code Ann. § 61-6-110 (Supp. 2002) concerning the age, residency, and reputation of Ms. Glover are properly established by stipulation. Furthermore, Ms. Glover has not had a license for the sale of alcoholic liquors revoked within the last five years. Notice of the application was lawfully posted both at the location and published in a newspaper of general circulation, as required by § 61-6-180.

4.Ms. Glover has no criminal record and is of sufficient moral character to receive a retail liquor license. She currently has an off premises beer and wine permit for the Rembert Convenience Store with an entrance around the corner from this proposed location. The convenience store and retail liquor store would be in the same physical building, but with separate entrances.

5.There was no evidence that the proposed location is within three hundred feet of any church, school or playground, as provided in § 61-6-120 (A).

6.No other member of Ms. Glover’s household has been issued a retail liquor store license. Additionally, the Petitioner has not been issued more than three retail liquor licenses, nor does she have an interest, financial or otherwise, in more than three retail liquor stores.

7.Ms. Glover testified that the proposed location had adequate parking with sufficient

lighting. Furthermore, Ms. Glover stated that there had not been problems with loitering or litter at the convenience store. Her employees go outside every half hour or hour and circle the building to discourage loitering. Ms. Glover has attended the We Care program in Columbia, and has used those tactics to train her employees in checking identification to prevent underage drinking.

9.The Protestant addressed the Court. Chief Dennis is concerned about the inability

to adequately police the area, the amount of traffic in the area, and feels that the area is already adequately served. He stated that most of the crime in Rembert is related to drugs or alcohol and that an additional outlet will strain the Sheriff’s Department’s resources. He admitted, however, that there is a Sheriff’s substation directly across the street from the proposed location, and that highway 521, which runs along the side of the building is a major thoroughfare and is well traveled. In addition, he stated that there have been no calls for assistance concerning Ms. Glover’s convenience store.

Two other citizens were allowed to address the Court. Mr. James Barry Stanley had filed a protest with the Department that was determined to be untimely. He stated that he is concerned about the manpower at the Sheriff’s office and the strain that an additional alcohol outlet could have. In addition, he stated that there is a basketball court nearby and that the children may have to enter the Petitioner’s parking lot to retrieve the ball. Jamie Kendall also testified as a representative of McLeod Chapel Baptist Church. He is concerned about the incidences of alcoholism in the area and the moral issues surrounding the availability of alcohol. Although the Protestant’s and the other witnesses’ convictions are strong, their arguments do not rise to the level of adequate grounds to prevent issuance of the license.

10. I find the proposed location to be suitable for a retail liquor license.


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. 2002) grants jurisdiction to the Administrative Law Judge Division to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act. Furthermore, S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 2002) grants the Division the responsibility to determine contested matters governing alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

2.S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-6-110 et seq. (Supp. 2002) sets forth the requirements for

determining eligibility for a retail liquor license.

3.Although “proper location” is not statutorily defined, broad discretion is vested in the trier of fact in determining the fitness or suitability of a particular location. Fast Stops, Inc. v. Ingram, 276 S.C. 593, 281 S.E.2d 118 (1981). As the trier of fact, the Administrative Law Judge is authorized to determine the fitness or suitability of the proposed business location for a license to sell liquor using broad, but not unbridled, discretion. Byers v. South Carolina ABC Commission, 281 S.C. 566, 316 S.E.2d 705 (Ct. App. 1984). 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 operations of the proposed business and its impact upon the community within which it is to be located. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E.2d 335 (1985). Additionally, without sufficient evidence of an adverse impact on the community, the application must be granted if the statutory criteria are satisfied. The fact that a Protestant objects to the issuance of a license is not a sufficient reason by itself to deny the application. See 45 Am. Jur. 2d Intoxicating Liquors § 162 (Supp. 1995); 48 C.J.S. Intoxicating Liquors § 119 (1981).

5.In considering the suitability of a location, it is relevant to consider whether the testimony in opposition to the granting of a license is based on opinions, generalities and conclusions, or whether the case is supported by facts. Smith v. Pratt, 258 S.C. 504, 189 S.E. 2d 301, (1972); Taylor v. Lewis, et al. , 261 S.C. 168, 198 S.E. 2d 801 (1973). There was no testimony or other evidence submitted as to the specific adverse impact that the granting of this particular license would have on the community. There were no concrete facts or incident reports submitted, only potential concerns by the Protestants.

6.The Petitioner meets the statutory requirements for holding a retail liquor license at the proposed location. I find her to be highly credible and experienced with the requirements of selling alcohol.


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

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the retail liquor license of Petitioner Dorothy M. Glover, d/b/a 521 South Liquor Store of Columbia, Inc. for the location at 35 B Horatio Hagood Road, Rembert, South Carolina, be granted upon the Petitioner’s payment of the required fees and costs, and upon final inspection by the State Law Enforcement Division under SC Code Ann. § 61-6-1510 (Supp. 2002).




Administrative Law Judge

August 5, 2003

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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