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ITALIAN CITIZENS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AMERICA LIQUOR LICENSE CASE. (07/21/55)

July 21, 1955

ITALIAN CITIZENS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA LIQUOR LICENSE CASE.


Appeal, No. 28, April T., 1955, from order of County Court of Allegheny County, 1954, No. C-1202, in case of appeal of Italian Citizens National Association of America from suspension of liquor license by Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Harold R. Bair, Special Deputy Attorney General, with him Horace A. Segelbaum, Deputy Attorney General, and Herbert B. Cohen, Attorney General, for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, appellant.

Dale T. Lias, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 214]

OPINION BY ROSS, J.

This is an appeal by the Liquor Control Board from the order of the County Court of Allegheny County sustaining a licensee's appeal from a 60-day suspension imposed by the Board for an alleged violation.

Appellee is the holder of a club liquor license. On February 25, 1954 the Liquor Control Board issued a citation based on alleged sales of liquor and malt beverages to persons who were not members of the organization. Hearing was held and on the basis thereof the Board found that the evidence sustained the allegations of the citation and ordered that the license be suspended for a period of 60 days. Appellee appealed

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 215]

    to the County Court which, after hearing de novo, sustained the appeal and vacated the suspension. This appeal followed.

The violations involved concern the sale of drinks to two enforcement officers. One of the officers appeared alone on the first occasion and expressed his desire to buy a drink. He was told by the secretary that he could not purchase liquor unless he was a member. The secretary then took his application for membership and an initial fee and issued a receipt to him. The enforcement officer was then served drinks on the basis of this membership application. He returned several days later and after inquiry at the door he was admitted and was allowed to purchase drinks again on the basis of his application for membership. His application had not yet been acted upon by the club. On the third visit he was accompanied by another enforcement officer. Again he was challenged at the door, but on the basis of his application he and the other officer were permitted to enter. Both were allowed to purchase drinks - the first officer who had applied for membership and the officer who had made no application whatever.

The court below in its opinion recognized all of these facts, and indeed the appellee does not dispute them. Admittedly the sale of liquor to one with a mere application for membership, as well as to a nonmember, is a violation of the Code. Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, Art. IV, secs. 102, 406, 47 PS secs. 1-102, 4-406. The court did not base its decision on a disbelief of the facts. Instead it discussed the history of this club since 1917 as a civic and charitable organization and concluded that the enforcement officers were unfair in the ...


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