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EDELBREW BREWERY v. WEISS (11/15/51)

November 15, 1951

EDELBREW BREWERY, INC.
v.
WEISS



COUNSEL

M. E. Maurer and Nissenbaum & Maurer, all of Philadelphia, for appellant.

Mitchell W. Miller and Levi, Mandel & Miller, all of Philadelphia, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Reno

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 35]

RENO, Judge.

Defendant appealed from a judgment entered against him on the pleadings in an action on a book account for beer sold by plaintiff, a New York brewing corporation, to defendant, a Pennsylvania malt beverage licensee.

Defendant relied upon the Beverage License Law of May 3, 1933, P.L. 252, § 23(V), as amended, 47 P.S. § 100f(V), which provides: 'It shall be unlawful * * * (V) for any licensee, * * * to sell, or purchase or receive, any malt or brewed beverages except for cash, * * *. No right of action shall exist to collect any claims for credit extended contrary to the provisions of this clause.' (Emphasis added.)

The court below held that, since plaintiff was not and could not be*fn1 a Pennsylvania licensee, the quoted

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 36]

    section did not apply, and that the sales were made in interstate commerce and so were beyond the reach of Pennsylvania legislation. It ignored the elementary and fundamental principle that where a buyer lacks legal competence to purchase, the seller lacks legal capacity to collect.*fn2 Moreover, the decision discriminated against Pennsylvania brewers by allowing to outside brewers a privilege denied to our own, a result scarcely within legislative contemplation.

The case is partially governed by § 23(V). That section, however, must be read in its contextual relation to § 29, added to the Law, supra, by the Act of June 16, 1937, P.L. 1827, § 1, 47 P.S. § 100k-1, the pertinent part of which is printed in the margin.*fn3 Under the latter section outside brewers may sell to Pennsylvania

[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 37]

    only upon compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board ' In addition to compliance with all other provisions of this act '. The italicized clause unambiguously refers to § 23(V), supra, and imposes upon outside brewers the ...


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