Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Elk County, Oct. T., 1966, No. 6, in matter of revocation of catering club liquor license No. CC-456 issued to Loyal Order of Moose, St. Marys Lodge No. 146.
Donald D. Doerr, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas J. Shannon, Assistant Attorney General, and William C. Sennett, Attorney General, for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, appellant.
Leo Loffel, with him Gordon J. Daghir, and Houston & Daghir, for appellee.
Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J.
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This is an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from the order of the Court of Quarter Sessions
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of Elk County modifying the fine of $600 to $150 imposed by the board upon Loyal Order of Moose, St. Marys Lodge No. 146, for violation of its catering club liquor license.
The board, after hearing, found the following facts: "1. The licensed organization, by its servants, agents or employes sold liquor and/or malt or brewed beverages on the licensed premises to non-members without prior arrangements for such services on March 18, 19 and 25, 1966. 2. The licensed organization, by its servants, agents or employes maintained gambling devices and/or paraphernalia and permitted gambling on the licensed premises on March 30, 1966." The imposition of a fine of $600 followed and the licensee appealed to the Court of Quarter Sessions of Elk County. The court below modified the fine of $600 to $150 and from this order the Commonwealth appealed.
The court below adopted, as its own, the findings of fact as above set forth but modified the order to a fine of $150 on the ground that the three violations for sales to nonmembers could not be sustained, as a matter of law, on the ground that the board failed to give the club the required notice within ten days of the completion of the investigation of the alleged violations on March 18, 19 and 25, 1966 respectively. The court denied the contention of the appellee that the gambling finding was based on an illegal search and seizure and refused to suppress the evidence. This is not before us because the appellee did not appeal from the decision of the court below sustaining the board's action on the gambling violation.
The question before us is one of law that involves the interpretation of an amendment to the Liquor Code, April 12, 1951, P. L. 90, Art. IV, section 471, as amended, 1961, September 15, P. L. 1325, section 1; 1966, January 13, P. L. (1965), 1301, section 2 (47 PS 4-471). The pertinent part reads as follows: "no
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penalty provided by this section shall be imposed by the board or any court for any violations provided for in this act unless the enforcement officer or the board notifies the licensee of its nature and of the date of the alleged violation within ten days of the completion of the investigation which in no event shall exceed ninety days." There seems to be no ambiguity in the language of the amendment. It is clear that the intent of the legislature was to bring to the attention of the licensee the violations of ...