South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Daniel R. Ligon vs. SCDOR, et al

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Daniel R. Ligon

South Carolina Department of Revenue and Lee S. Wolff

David E. Turnipseed, Esq. for Applicant

Lee S. Wolff, Pro Se for Protestant.



This matter comes before the Administrative Law Judge Division on the application of Daniel R. Ligon for an on-premises beer and wine permit and a sale and consumption license for a restaurant called Hunter T's located at 1330 Southport Road, Spartanburg, South Carolina. After notice to the parties, a hearing was conducted on September 23, 1994. Based upon the testimony and the evidence presented, I make the following:


1. The applicant is a 38 year old resident of South Carolina. He has no criminal record other than minor traffic offenses and a hit and run conviction in 1990 which involved no personal injuries and in which he made restitution for the property damage. He is person of good moral character.

2. Ligon has never held any beer and wine permits or other licenses for the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages and no suspensions or revocations have ever been issued. The location was previously licensed for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The previous licensees operated nightclubs with adult entertainment. The applicant was not connected to the operation of those establishments. Ligon does have experience in the operation and management of food services and a bar.

3. Hunter T's is located on 1330 Southport Road in Spartanburg off of the Highway 295-Bypass between Highways 56 and 295 in a commercial area. It is a restaurant and truck stop that currently is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Menus are available and the primary business will be to serve food and beverages. Ligon is remodeling the location and when complete the business will operate from 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. or at the latest 12 midnight.

4. The location is not near any churches or playgrounds. The nearest school is two miles away. Sherwood Acres is the closest residential area. The nearest resident is Lee Wolff, the only protestant. His driveway is about 100 yards from Hunter T's.

5. Notice of the application was published in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and was posted at the location for the required time period. The applicant also furnished the bond required by statute.

6. The protestant, Mr. Wolff has numerous complaints beginning with the size and location of the notice that is required by the statute and regulations. He admits that the applicant complied with the statute but states that the size and location required by the statute is not adequate for someone to determine the content without trespassing. The next issued concern was the source of funds obtained by the applicant. Wolff believes that Ligon received funds from B & B Amusement, the lessor. According to Wolff, B & B Amusement is affiliated with the previous licensee whose license was revoked and that B & B Amusement does not own the property because it was seized by the Internal Revenue Service. Wolff believes that the operation of the business by Ligon would be a continuation of the former nightclub atmosphere. None of these allegations are supported by any documentation or other evidence. The Department of Revenue and Taxation conducted an investigation into the finances of the business, as it does with all applicants. The agent who conducted the investigation indicated that Ligon had no connection with the previous owners of the location. Ligon indicated on his sworn application that the source of any funds for operation of the business other than personal funds would be a small business loan.

7. Wolff also protests on the basis of the traffic in the area and on slow response time from the sheriff's department. The highway narrows at the location of Hunter T's from four lanes of traffic to two lanes. Wolff disputes that trucks would be able to enter and exit Hunter T's safely. There is no evidence to support this conclusion. Finally, Wolff states from personal experience that response time by the sheriff's department to alarms at his location was in excess of twenty minutes. Wolff concedes that response time is contingent upon the location of a deputy or officer at the time the dispatch is made.


1. The Administrative Law Judge Division is vested with the powers, duties and responsibilities exercised by the former Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and hearing officers pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 1. S.C. Code of Laws §61-1-55 (Supp. 1993).

2. S.C. Code of Laws §61-9-320 (Supp. 1993) provides the statutory requirements for the issuance of beer and wine permits. It states that the location of the proposed place of business must be a proper one, considering among other factors the location's proximity to schools, churches, or playgrounds.

3. "Proper location" is not statutorily defined, "rather broad discretion is vested in the [Division] in determining the fitness or suitability of a particular location". Fast Stops, Inc. v. Ingram, 276 S.C. 593, 281 S.E.2d 181 (S.C. 1981). This determination of suitability is not solely a function of geography, but involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact upon the community where it is to be situated. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E.2d 335 (S.C. 1985); Schudel v. S.C. ABC Commission, 276 S.C. 138, 276 S.E.2d 308 (S.C. 1981).

4. There is nothing in the evidence presented to show that the location is not a suitable one. It is not near any churches, schools or playgrounds. The area is predominately commercial. The location has been licensed in the past. The allegations concerning the traffic and the police response time were not supported by the weight of the evidence. There was no documentation or evidence to support the claims that B& B Amusement did not own the property on which the business is located and no evidence to support claims that Ligon is affiliated with the previous licensee. The other allegations address the notice requirements of the statute. The proper forum to address these allegations is the state General Assembly.

5. Section 61-5-50 provides when a license may be granted to a person for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. There are seven criteria listed, many of which are the same as for a beer and wine permit. The applicant meets all of the criteria.


Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the applicant is entitled to a beer and wine permit and a sale and consumption license. It is therefore,

ORDERED, that the Department of Revenue and Taxation shall issue to Daniel R. Ligon, a beer and wine permit and a sale and consumption license for Hunter T's located in Spartanburg, South Carolina upon the payment of the appropriate fees.




Administrative Law Judge Division

October ____, 1994

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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