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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Joseph J. Sheheen, d/b/a Sheheen's Market vs. SCDOR, et al

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Joseph J. Sheheen, d/b/a Sheheen's Market

South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation and Beaver Dam Baptist Church

For the Petitioner: Pro Se

For the Respondents/South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation: Nicholas P. Sipe, Esquire

For the Respondents/Beaver Dam Baptist Church:
Patrick D. Partin, Esquire




This matter comes before the Administrative Law Judge Division pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§61-1-55, et seq. (Supp. 1993) and S. C. Code Ann. §§1-23-310 et seq. (1986 and Supp. 1993) for a hearing pursuant to the application of Joseph J. Sheheen, d/b/a Sheheen's Market (Applicant). The Applicant seeks an off-premise beer and wine permit (AI100966) at 1441 Highway # 1 North, Cassatt, South Carolina.

A hearing was held on March 23, 1995, at the office of Administrative Law Judge Division, 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, South Carolina. Notice of the time, date and place of the hearing was timely given to all parties including the protestants. Prior to the hearing, Beaver Dam Baptist Church timely filed a Motion to Intervene as a party to this proceeding. South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation had no objection to their being made a party. The Applicant never made any objection. Beaver Dam Baptist Church was thereafter made a party in this case. The permit and license requested by the Applicant is denied.


Without objection, the Department of Revenue and Taxation's file was made a part of the record. Also introduced was a petition with additional signatures protesting the application of the Applicant (Exhibit 1) and a copy of the criminal history of the Applicant Exhibit 2).


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/or protestants, I make the following findings of fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. The court has subject matter jurisdiction of this contested case.

2. Notice of the time, date, place and subject matter of the hearing was given to the Applicant, protestants and South Carolina Department of Revenue. At the time, date, and place of the hearing a through search was made of the Administrative Law Judge Division for the Applicant. He failed to appear at his hearing as of the time of this Order, we have heard nothing from him.

3. The Applicant seeks an off-premise beer and wine permit for 1441 Highway #1 North, Cassatt, South Carolina.

4. The Applicant has been convicted of numerous crimes including disorderly conduct, breach of peace, unlawful possession of a handgun, public intoxication, DUI, gambling, shoplifting and making threats to a police officer. Furthermore, of particular concern, are the convictions for violation of the state liquor laws, including unlawful sale of liquor/beer (four counts) and unlawful storage of liquor (two counts).

5. The Applicant stated on his application that he had never been "arrested, taken into custody, charged, paid a fine, or posted a bond" for any crime in South Carolina or any other state in the past twenty years. This statement was false and a material misrepresentation.

6. The Applicant has a problem with alcohol with manifests itself in criminal and improper behavior in his community. His current condition makes him unsuitable for a beer or wine permit. Furthermore, his past behavior and falsification of his application, along with his reputation in the community, is reflective of an individual who does not have good moral character. I therefore find that the Applicant does not have the moral character necessary to possess a beer and wine permit.


Based upon the above findings of fact, I conclude as a mater of law the following:

1. Section 1-23-600 S.C. Code Ann. (Supp. 1993) grants jurisdiction to the Administrative Law Judge Division to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act.

2. Section 61-1-55 S.C. Code Ann. (Supp. 1993) grants to the Administrative Law Judge Division the powers, duties and responsibilities as hearing officer in protested and contested matters governing alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

3. Section 61-9-320 S.C. Code Ann. (Supp. 1993) and §§61-3-440 et. seq. (Supp. 1993) sets forth the requirements for the issuance of an on-premise beer and wine permit and a sale and consumption license.

4. The Court may deny a license or permit to "a person who has previously been convicted of a crime or crimes, particularly a violation of the liquor laws." Wall v. South Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Com'n. 269 S.C. 13, 235 S.E.2d 806 at 808 (1977). Specifically, there is no single criteria or standard for determining the meaning of the term "good moral character" and the licensing authority must judge whether the acts and/or conduct shown are sufficient in themselves or as an index to character to disqualify the Applicant. 2709 Op. Att'y Gen. 160 (1969).

5. "[A] misstatement under oath or a concealment of [a material] fact" is sufficient basis to deny a beer and wine permit. Wall, supra at 808.


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

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the application of Joseph Sheheen for a beer and wine permit be denied.



Ralph King Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge

Columbia, South Carolina

March 30, 1995

Brown Bldg.






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