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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Shirley A. Stewart, d/b/a Community Billiard Parlor vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Shirley A. Stewart, d/b/a Community Billiard Parlor

South Carolina Department of Revenue

For the Petitioner: M. Parker Vick, Esquire

For the Respondent: No Appearance

For the Protestant: Investigator T. K. Davis




This matter comes before the Administrative Law Judge Division pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§61-1-55, et seq. (Supp. 1994) and S. C. Code Ann. §§1-23-310 et seq. (1986 and Supp. 1994) for a contested case hearing. The Petitioner, Shirley A. Stewart, seeks an on-premise beer and wine permit for Community Billiard Parlor. A hearing was held on August 15, 1995, at the office of Administrative Law Judge Division, 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, South Carolina.

The Permit requested by the Petitioner is denied.


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 or Protestants, 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, Protestants, and the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation.

2. The qualifications set forth in S. C. Code Ann. §61-9-320 (Supp. 1994) concerning the residency and age of the Petitioner are properly established. Furthermore, the Petitioner has not had a permit or license revoked within the last two years and notice of the application was lawfully posted both at the location and in a newspaper of general circulation.

3. The Petitioner seeks an on-premise beer and wine permit for Community Billiard Parlor located at 380 Union Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

4. The Petitioner was convicted of assault and battery on December 27, 1983, and of carrying a concealed pistol on April 24, 1978.

5. The Department's application for a beer and wine permit requests the applicant to respond as to whether they had been "arrested, taken into custody, charged, paid a fine or posted bond for allegedly violating any law in this or any other state in the past twenty (20) years." The applicant responded that yes, she had been convicted and included verification of her conviction for the above assault and battery charge. She contends that she went twice to the Union Sheriff's Department to determine whether she had any other convictions and was informed that the only outstanding conviction they had on record was the conviction in 1983 for assault and battery. The Petitioner pled guilty to the 1978 gun charge and was sentenced to sixty (60) days or a Two Hundred ($200.00) Dollar fine. See, Respondent's Exhibit 2. I find tht the 1978 gun charge conviction was certainly memorable to the Petitioner, and that the Petitioner knowingly failed to report it to the Department.

6. The proposed location is in an area in Spartanburg where drug sales and crime are common. Sullivan's Lounge is approximately twenty (20) feet from the proposed location and a pool hall named the Elks Club is seventy-five (75) feet from the proposed location. Both of these establishments hold on-premise beer and wine permits. Numerous drug arrests have been made in close proximity to both businesses. The Protestant contends that granting another on- premise beer and wine permit in this area would only result in additional crime.

7. The Petitioner has agreed to hire a security guard to be present upon her premises if the Court finds such action to be necessary. Though the Petitioner believes that cost may prohibit her from hiring a licensed security guard, she has agreed to hire a bonded security guard.

8. Clancy's, which holds an on-premise beer and wine permit and a mini bottle license, is located one hundred and fifty (150) feet from the proposed location. Clancy's employs a security guard, a practice which has alleviated many of the problems which are found in the vicinity of Sullivans and the Elks Club.

9. The proposed location is unsuitable for a beer and wine permit because even with the hiring of a security guard, an additional business with a beer and wine permit would adversely impact an "already troubled" community.


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

1. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600 (Supp. 1994) grants jurisdiction to the Administrative Law Judge Division to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act.

2. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1994) 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. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-9-320 (Supp. 1994) sets forth the requirements for the issuance of an on-premise beer and wine permit.

4. 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).

5. As the trier of fact, the Administrative Law Judge is authorized to decide the fitness or suitability of the proposed business location of a Petitioner for a permit to sell beer and wine using broad, but not unbridled, discretion. Byers v. South Carolina ABC Commission, 281 S.C. 566, 316 S.E.2d 705 (Ct. App. 1984).

6. 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).

7. Permits and licenses issued by this state for the sale of liquor, beer and wine are not property rights. They are, rather, privileges granted in the exercise of the state's police power to be used and enjoyed only so long as the holder complies with the restrictions and conditions governing them. Feldman v. S.C. Tax Comm'm, 203 S.C. 49, 26 S.E.2d 22 (1943).

8. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-9-340 (Supp.1994) sets forth that "any misstatement or concealment of fact in an application shall be a sufficient ground for the revocation of the permit issued by reason of such application." Likewise, "[a] misstatement under oath or a concealment of [a material] fact" is sufficient basis to deny a beer and wine permit. Wall v. South Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Com'n. 269 S.C. 13, 235 S.E.2d 806 (1977).


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

ORDERED that the application of Shirley A. Stewart for this on-premise beer and wine permit be denied.



Ralph King Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge

Columbia, South Carolina

September 28, 1995

Brown Bldg.






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