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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Martha S. Schreiber, d/b/a Chances vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Martha S. Schreiber, d/b/a Chances

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Martha S. Schreiber, (pro se) Applicant

Margarete Zacour, (pro se) Protestant



This matter comes before me pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1993) and S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310, et seq. (Rev. 1986 & Supp. 1993) upon an application for an on-premises beer and wine permit and minibottle license for 2108 U.S. Highway 1 South, Elgin, South Carolina. A hearing was held on July 27, 1994. The issues considered were: (1) the applicant's eligibility to hold a license/permit; (2) the suitability of the proposed business location; and (3) the nature of the proposed business activity. The applications for a beer and wine permit and minibottle license are hereby granted.


By a preponderance of the evidence, I find:

(1) Applicant seeks an on-premises beer and wine permit and minibottle license for a location at 2108 U.S. Highway 1 South, Elgin, South Carolina, having filed applications with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation (hereinafter referred to as "DOR"), AI #98623 and AI #98624 on May 3, 1994.

(2) Notice of the time, date, place, and subject matter of the hearing was given to the applicant, protestants, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (hereinafter referred to as "SLED"), and DOR.

(3) The DOR file was made a part of this record by reference by consent of the parties and protestants.

(4) Applicant plans to operate the business as a restaurant and bar with a substantial portion of the business dedicated to the preparation and service of meals.

(5) The proposed location is in an unincorporated area of Kershaw County.

(6) Applicant has hired Sharat Mallya as manager of the establishment.

(7) Mr. Mallya has extensive experience in the restaurant and bar business and is a former police officer.

(8) The intended hours of operation are: 12:00 noon-

2:00 a.m., Wednesday-Friday; 12:00 noon-12:00 midnight, Saturday; initially closed Monday and Tuesday.

(9) The proposed location operated as Al's Country Club from September 1989 to October 1993.

(10) Margarete Zacour and Robert M. Branham testified in protest to the applications and cited past problems with the management and patrons of Al's Country Club which were predominately vandalism, trespassing, loitering, and unruly behavior of intoxicated patrons leaving the establishment.

(11) Al's Country Club had its lease revoked by the owner of the property, Hedwig Hamilton.

(12) The proposed location has seating capacity for 90 persons.

(13) The area surrounding the proposed location is rural, with a store operated by Ms. Zacour located across the highway. Ms. Zacour's store holds a beer and wine permit.

(14) No church, school, or playground is within five hundred (500') feet of the proposed location.

(15) Applicant is over twenty-one years of age, is a citizen of the State of South Carolina, and has maintained her principal residence in South Carolina for more than one year.

(16) Applicant has not had a permit/license revoked in the last five years.

(17) Applicant and her manager are of good moral character.

(18) Notice of the application appeared in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the proposed location for three consecutive weeks and was posted at the proposed location for fifteen days.


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

(1) S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1993) provides that the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division is empowered to

hear this case pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title I of the 1976 Code, as amended.

(2) S.C. Code Ann. § 61-9-320 (Supp. 1993) provides the criteria to be met by an applicant for a beer and wine permit in South Carolina.

(3) S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-5-50 and 61-3-440 (Supp. 1993) set forth the requirements for a minibottle license.

(4) A permit or license must not be issued if an applicant does not meet the standards of S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-730 (Supp. 1993).

(5) As the trier of fact, an administrative law judge is authorized to determine the fitness or suitability of the proposed business location of an applicant for a permit to sell beer and wine using broad but not unbridled discretion. Ronald F. Byers v. S.C. ABC Commission, 316 S.E.2d 705 (S.C. App. 1984).

(6) The determination of suitability of a 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. 335 (1985).

(7) The proposed location is suitable and proper.

(8) Applicant meets the statutory requirements for issuance of a beer and wine permit and minibottle license.

(9) S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-425 (Supp. 1993) provides that prior to issuance of a license authorized under Title 61, an applicant must provide signed statements from the Internal Revenue

Service and DOR showing the applicant does not owe any state or federal taxes, penalties, or interest.


IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that DOR issue to Applicant an on-premises beer and wine permit and minibottle license upon payment of the prescribed fee and bond and submission of the applicable tax information.



Administrative Law Judge

August 1, 1994

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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