South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Cynthia T. McDonald, d/b/a ABC Store vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Cynthia T. McDonald, d/b/a ABC Store

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Timothy F. Rogers, Esquire for Petitioner

Arlene D. Hand, Esquire for Respondent




This matter comes before me pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1995) and S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-310, et seq (Rev. 1986 & Supp. 1995) upon the application of Cynthia T. McDonald for a retail liquor license for ABC Store located as 731 Gillsbrook Road in Lancaster, South Carolina. After notice to the parties, a hearing was conducted on April 1, 1996. The sole protestor, Benny L. Webb, chief of the Lancaster Police Department, failed to appear at the hearing and his protest is deemed abandoned. Administrative notice was taken of the application and the investigative file of the Department. Based upon the evidence presented, the application is granted.


I make the following findings of fact, taking into consideration the burden on the parties to establish their respective cases by a preponderance of the evidence, and taking into account the credibility of the witnesses:

1. The applicant, Cynthia T. McDonald is over the age of twenty-one and is a resident of South Carolina and a legal resident of the United States.

2. McDonald holds numerous beer and wine permits and two retail liquor permits. None of the permits have been revoked in the last five years.

3. McDonald has no criminal convictions and is of suitable moral character for the issuance of a liquor license.

4. The applicant does not owe any state or federal delinquent taxes, penalties, or interest.

5. The proposed location is 731 Gillsbrook Road in Lancaster. It is located between a Texaco gas station-food mart and a dentist office near the intersection of Gillsbrook Road and Highway 9 Bypass. Next to the gas station is a Blockbuster video store. Across the street from the proposed location is vacant farm land and pasture. Some residences are located next to the dentist office.

6. The only protest to the application was from Chief Benny Webb of the Lancaster Police Department. He completed a form indicating that the community felt another location selling alcohol would disrupt the peacefulness of the community. After receiving notice of the hearing, he failed to appear. No member of the community appeared to protest the location.

7. The protest is considered abandoned and there is no evidence that the location would be disruptive to the community.

8. Notice of the application was published in The State newspaper and posted at the location for the time period required.

9. The applicant posted the appropriate bond as required by statute.

10. The applicant's husband, James R. McDonald, has been convicted of tax evasion. By consent, he has agreed not to apply for a retail liquor license or to be involved in the operation or management of any business which has a liquor license. He therefore is prohibited from being employed, managing or operating the liquor store.


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

1. The Administrative Law Judge 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 Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1995).

2. The sole and exclusive power to grant a retail liquor license in a contested and protest matter is with the administrative law judge. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-410 (Supp. 1995).

3. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-420 (Supp. 1995) lists the criteria for determining when a person who will have actual control and management of the proposed business is ineligible for a retail liquor license. The applicant is eligible for the issuance of the license.

4. In addition, no new licenses may be granted if the place of business is within certain distances of any church, school, or playground. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-440 (Supp. 1995). The proposed location is not within proximity to any of these structures.

5. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-3-460 and 61-3-461 (Supp. 1995) limits the number of retail liquor licenses a person may hold or have an interest in to three. The applicant currently hold two retail liquor licenses and does not have an interest in any others.

6. No retail liquor license may be granted to a person who owes state or federal delinquent taxes, penalty or interest. S. C. Code Ann. § 61-3-425 (Supp. 1995). The applicant does not have any outstanding tax liability.

7. The applicant, Cynthia T. McDonald, meets all the statutory requirements for the issuance of a retail liquor license.


Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is hereby

ORDERED, that the application of Cynthia T. McDonald for a retail liquor license for ABC Store located at 731 Gillsbrook Road in Lancaster is GRANTED and the Department of Revenue and Taxation shall issue the license upon the payment of the appropriate fees.




Administrative Law Judge

April _____, 1996

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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