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BELVEDERE LITERARY CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE CASE (09/15/67)

decided: September 15, 1967.

BELVEDERE LITERARY CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE CASE


Appeal from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County, Jan. T., 1966, No. 30, in the matter of revocation of club liquor license No. C-3889 issued to Belvedere Literary Club of Jeannette.

COUNSEL

Donald D. Doerr, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Floyd R. Warren, Special Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Shannon, Assistant Attorney General, and William C. Sennett, Attorney General, for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, appellant.

John D. Lyons, Jr., with him Scales and Shaw, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Spaulding, J.

Author: Spaulding

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 508]

This is an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from an order of the court below modifying the board's revocation of a liquor license issued to the Belvedere Literary Club of Jeannette.

On July 26, 1965 the board issued a citation against the licensee, charging it with sixteen violations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code and regulations of the board. On October 21, 1965, the day set for the hearing, the licensee's secretary-treasurer executed and filed a waiver admitting all of the charges and authorizing the board to enter a final order without a hearing.*fn1 The following day, the waiver was authorized by a resolution of the licensee which was also filed with the board. On December 14, 1965 the board found the licensee guilty of eleven violations and revoked its license. Notwithstanding its earlier admission and waiver of hearing, the licensee appealed to the court below.

At the hearing de novo, the board moved for dismissal on the ground that licensee, having admitted the charges and authorized entry of a final order, had waived its right to appeal. This motion was denied

[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 509]

    by the court. The waiver was admitted into evidence without objection or denial by the licensee. After hearing testimony by both sides, the court dismissed six of the eleven violations found by the board*fn2 and reduced the penalty to a suspension of ninety days.

Two questions are presented: (1) whether the licensee, by filing a waiver, relinquished its right to appeal the board's decision; (2) whether the lower court abused its discretion by modifying the findings and penalty.

Section 471 of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code, Act of 1951, April 12, P. L. 90, 47 P.S. ยง 4-471, as amended, provides: "In the event the person whose license was suspended or revoked by the board shall feel aggrieved by the action of the board, he shall have the right to appeal. . . in the same manner as herein provided for appeals from refusals to grant licenses. Upon appeal, the court so appealed to shall, in the exercise of its discretion, sustain, reject, alter or modify the findings, ...


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