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PICHLER v. SNAVELY (03/21/51)

March 21, 1951

PICHLER, APPELLANT,
v.
SNAVELY



Appeal, No. 212, Jan. T., 1950, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, June T., 1949, No. 9, in case of Frank Pichler v. Howard P. Snavely. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Kenelm L. Shirk, Jr., with him Kenelm L. Shirk, Sr., for appellant.

W. Hensel Brown, with him W. Roger Simpson, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 366 Pa. Page 568]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Plaintiff appeals from an order of the court below sustaining preliminary objections to his amended complaint in assumpsit in which he claimed $5,000. for damages resulting from defendant's failure to retransfer a liquor license.

Plaintiff leased his premises 253 E. Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pa. to the defendant as a licensed premises and in and by said lease transferred to defendant a

[ 366 Pa. Page 569]

    liquor license then held by plaintiff. The lease contained the following provision: "Should Howard P. Snavely remove from the within leased premises while he had a liquor license -- he agrees to transfer said liquor license to Frank Pichler". Snavely removed from said leased premises while he had a liquor license and leased the next door property and had the license transferred to himself at said place. Defendant then refused to retransfer the liquor license to plaintiff. Plaintiff claimed that the failure to transfer said liquor license damaged him to the extent of $5,000., viz, the difference between the value of his property with a liquor license and the value of his property without a liquor license.

The law is well settled that a liquor license is not a property right, but only a purely personal privilege for a specific limited time, which is subject to termination by the Liquor Control Board for cause and which, in any event, terminates with the licensee's life. A liquor license or the privilege to sell liquors for a specified time, although often very valuable, is not assignable, (as that term is generally understood) nor does it go to the personal representatives*fn* or become an asset of the holder's estate in case of death: Grimm's Estate, 181 Pa. 233, 236, 37 A. 403; Blumnthal's Petition, 125 Pa. 412, 415, 18 A. 395; Buck's Est., 185 Pa. 57, 60, 39 A. 821; Mueller's Est., 190 Pa. 601, 603, 42 A. 1021; Commonwealth v. Cochran Post No. 251, 350 Pa. 111, 119, 38 A.2d 250; Spankard's Liquor

[ 366 Pa. Page 570]

License Case, 138 Pa. Superior Ct. 251, 259, ...


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