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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
Andrea W. Stegall, d/b/a Stegall Feed, Seed, Lawn & Garden vs. SCDOR

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Revenue

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
Andrea W. Stegall, d/b/a Stegall Feed, Seed, Lawn & Garden

Respondents:
South Carolina Department of Revenue
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
94-ALJ-0030

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER AND DECISION

This matter comes before me pursuant to S.C. Code §61-1-55 (Supp. 1993) and §1-23-310 et seq. upon a renewal application for an on-premises beer and wine permit for Route 2, Farmer Lane, Cottageville, South Carolina, by Andrea W. Stegall, d/b/a Stegall Feed, Seed, Lawn & Garden filed with the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DOR). A hearing was requested by the applicant for the purpose of considering the removal of a restriction on the permit. A hearing was held on Friday, May 6, 1994, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act with notice to all parties and protestants. The issue considered was the removal of a restriction on the permit that the business close no later than 7:00 p.m. each day. The applicant was the sole witness. No protestants appeared. From the evidence presented at the hearing, I find that the removal of the restriction would not adversely effect the surrounding community and order that the renewal permit be issued with no restrictions.

FINDINGS OF FACT

The applicant seeks the renewal of an on-premises beer and wine permit, BW 418043, with the removal of a 7:00 closing time restriction for Stegall Feed, Seed, Lawn & Garden, a country store at Route 2, Farmer Lane, Cottageville, South Carolina, having filed a renewal application with DOR on January 27, 1994.

Applicant was originally issued an on-premises beer and wine permit after a hearing on a protested application on December 15, 1992. The ABC Commission issued the permit with the restriction that the establishment be closed each day at 7:00 p.m. The Applicant agreed in writing to the stipulation, pursuant to ABC Regulation 7-88.

Applicant testified that Cottageville is a small rural community with no public place for residents to socialize other than her feed and seed store. While the primary business of the location is the retail sale of farm and garden supplies, local residents have adopted the location as a community meeting place. Families congregate at the store, even organizing informal covered dish meals. She testified that it is a family oriented setting with whole families, including small children, often present. She has received no complaints about the business since the issuance of the permit.

Applicant intends to operate the store for business Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m.-12:00 midnight.

Notice of the time, date, place, and subject matter of the hearing was given to the applicant, previous protestants, SLED, and DOR. No protestants were present at the hearing and no evidence was presented in opposition to the renewal application or the removal of the restriction.

I find that the removal of the 7:00 p.m. closing restriction on the permit will not adversely effect the surrounding community and that the applicant continues to meet the standards for the issuance of a beer and wine permit.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

S.C. Code §61-9-320 (Supp. 1993) provides the criteria to be met for the issuance of a beer and wine permit. A permit must not be issued under S.C. Code §61-3-730 (Supp. 1993) if the applicant is not a suitable person to be licensed; the place of business is not a suitable place; or a sufficient number of licenses have already been issued in the State, municipality, or community.

The applicant was found to meet the requisite standards for the issuance of a beer and wine permit at the December 15, 1992 hearing. No evidence to the contrary being presented at this hearing, she is presumed to continue to meet the requisite standards.

The original permit was issued with a restriction by agreement of the applicant pursuant to ABC Regulation 7-88, which reads:

Any stipulation and/or agreement which is voluntarily entered into by an applicant for a beer and wine permit between the applicant and the South Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, if accepted by the Commission, will be incorporated into the basic requirements for the enjoyment and privilege of obtaining and retaining the beer and wine permit and which shall have the same effect as any and all laws and any and all other regulations pertaining to the effective administration of beer and wine permittees.

In the event that evidence is presented to this Commission that any part of the stipulation or agreement is or has been knowingly broken by the permittee will be a violation against the permit and shall constitute sufficient grounds to suspend or revoke said beer and wine permit.

Effective July 1, 1993, the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission ceased to exist. S.C. Code § 1-30-95 (Supp. 1993) transferred the administrative duties of the former ABC Commission to DOR. S.C. Code §61-1-55 (Supp. 1993) provides that the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division is empowered to conduct and decide all hearings previously heard by the former ABC Commission pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title I of the 1976 Code, as amended.

Permits issued by the State for the sale of beer and wine are not rights or property. They are privileges granted in the exercise of the police power of the state to do what otherwise would be unlawful to do and to be used and enjoyed only so long as the restrictions and conditions governing them are complied with. As the tribunal authorized to grant the issuance of a permit is also authorized, for cause, to revoke it, so is that tribunal authorized to remove restrictions or conditions it has placed on the permit. See Feldman v. South Carolina Tax Commission, 203 S.C. 49, 26 S.E.2d 22 (1943).

The applicant having met the burden of showing that the removal of the restriction would not adversely effect the surrounding community nor render the location or business activity unsuitable or improper, no evidence to the contrary being presented, it is concluded that the renewal should be granted and the 7:00 p.m. closing restriction removed.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that DOR issue to the applicant a renewed on-premises beer and wine permit without the 7:00 p.m. closing restriction or any other stipulation upon payment of the prescribed fee.

___________________________

STEPHEN P. BATES

Administrative Law Judge

May 11, 1994

Columbia, South Carolina


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