South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
Edgar A. Brown building 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 224 Columbia, SC 29201 Voice: (803) 734-0550

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
SCDOR vs. William V. George, Vice President, Barn Club, Inc., d/b/a Money

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Revenue

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
South Carolina Department of Revenue

Respondents:
William V. George, Vice President, Barn Club, Inc., d/b/a Money
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
97-ALJ-17-0453-CC

APPEARANCES:
Arlene D. Hand
Attorney for Petitioner

Michael Brown, Jr.
Attorney for Respondent
 

ORDERS:

ORDER AND DECISION

I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This matter comes before this tribunal for a contested case hearing on the citation issued by the South Carolina Department of Revenue against William V. George, d/b/a Money, for a violation of 23 S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-17(J) (Supp. 1996). After notice to the parties, a hearing was conducted on December 2, 1997.

II. STIPULATED FACTS

1. During opening statements, Respondent's counsel stipulated that Respondent committed the violation of Regs. 7-17(J) on February 28, 1997, as alleged by Petitioner. However, Respondent challenges the severity of the penalty imposed by the Petitioner, which is the revocation of its beer and wine permit and minibottle license and a $500 fine.

III. FINDINGS OF FACT

Having carefully considered all testimony, exhibits, and arguments presented at the hearing of this matter, and taking into account the credibility and accuracy of the evidence, I make the following Findings of Fact by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. William V. George holds a beer and wine permit (BW 8220442) and a sale and consumption license (SC 824521) for Money, a private club located on 110 South Cherry Road, Rock Hill, South Carolina.

2. On March 4, 1994, the Department cited Respondent for permitting the consumption of liquor by a non-member, and Respondent paid a $200 fine.

3. On March 4, 1994, the Department also cited Respondent for sale of liquor to a person under the age of twenty-one, and Respondent paid a $500 fine.(1)

4. On October 22, 1994, the Department cited Respondent for permitting the consumption of liquor by a non-member. Pursuant to the decision of the Administrative Law Judge, the sale and consumption license was suspended for fifteen days and Respondent was fined $500. South Carolina Dep't of Revenue and Taxation v. George, No. 95-ALJ-17-0066-CC (April 7, 1995).

5. Respondent's beer and wine permit was not implicated in the matter presently before this tribunal, nor in any of the aforementioned violations committed by Respondent. These violations only involved Respondent's minibottle license.

6. After the two 1994 violations, Respondent did not have another violation until February 28, 1997. Further, at the time of the violation, Respondent was five days shy of being outside the three-year window provided for in S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-2600 (Supp 1996).

7. Respondent has undertaken remedial measures to prevent reoccurrences of similar violations.

IV. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. The Administrative Law Judge Division has jurisdiction in this matter. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-260 (Supp. 1996).

2. The Department is authorized to administer the provisions of Title 61, concerning alcohol and alcoholic beverages. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-2-20 (Supp. 1996).

3. 23 S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-17(J) (Supp. 1996) states: "Only bona fide members and bona fide guests of members of such organizations may consume alcoholic beverages sold in sealed containers of two ounces or less upon the licensed premises."

4. Section 61-6-2600 (Supp. 1996) authorizes the permanent revocation of a minibottle license for a third offense within three years of the first offense. This section also authorizes the imposition of a $500 fine.

5. Section 61-6-4270 authorizes the imposition of a monetary penalty upon the holder of a liquor license in lieu of suspension or revocation of the license.

6. It is a generally recognized principle of administrative law that the fact-finder has the authority to impose an administrative penalty, as established by the legislature, after the parties have had an opportunity to have a hearing and be heard on the issues. Walker v. South Carolina ABC Comm'n, 305 S.C. 209, 407 S.E.2d 633 (1991). See City of Louisville v. Milligan, 798 S.W.2d 454 (Ky. 1990); Matter of Henry Youth Hockey Ass'n, 511 N.W.2d 452 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994); Shadow Lake of Noel, Inc. v. Supervisor of Liquor Control, 893 S.W.2d 835 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995); Ohio Real Estate Comm'n v. Aqua Sun Inv., 655 N.E.2d 266 (Ohio 1995); State Police v. Cantina Gloria's, 639 A.2d 14 (Pa. 1994); Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. Duranleau, 617 A.2d 143 (Vt. 1992).

7. The Department seeks permanent revocation of Respondent's beer and wine permit and minibottle license and a $500 fine. I find that a more appropriate penalty is a $1,500 fine and suspension of Respondent's minibottle license for thirty days.

V. ORDER

Based on the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner shall impose a fine of $1,500 against Respondent and shall suspend Respondent's minibottle license for thirty days.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.

______________________________________

JOHN D. GEATHERS

Administrative Law Judge

Post Office Box 11667

Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1667



January 15, 1998

Columbia, South Carolina

1. The two March 4, 1994 violations were treated as arising out of the same transaction and occurrence, and thus, constituting a single violation. See South Carolina Dep't of Revenue and Taxation v. George, No. 95-ALJ-17-0066-CC (April 7, 1995).


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