Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, in case of In the Matter of the Revocation of Hotel Liquor License No. H-1770 Issued to June E. Faber and Faye R. Brensinger, t/a Fay-Bers, McKinley Avenue, Columbia Heights, Schuylkill Haven, Pa., No. 10 Misc. March Term, 1971.
George G. Lindsay, with him Bashore and Lindsay, for appellants.
Alexander J. Jaffurs, Assistant Attorney General, with him Albert B. Miller, Special Assistant Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
On September 22, 1969, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) issued a citation against June E. Faber and Faye R. Brensinger, trading as Fay-Bers (licensees), in which the following violations of the Liquor Code*fn1 were alleged:
"1. Your licensed establishment has been operated as a house of prostitution and assignation, on or about May 5, 1969, and on divers other occasions within the past year.
"2. You, your servants, agents or employes permitted upon the licensed premises solicitation of patrons for immoral purposes, on or about May 5, 1969, and on divers other occasions within the past year."
A hearing was scheduled on the citation for February 11, 1970, but, soon after the issuance of the citation, the Board on its own initiative continued the matter indefinitely. The stated reason for the continuance was that the Pennsylvania State Police, who had initiated criminal proceedings against the licensees in connection with the averments in the citation, do not permit their officers to testify in Board cases until they have completed their testimony in related criminal cases. No further action was taken by the Board until January 6, 1971, at which time a hearing on the citation was set for February 3, 1971. The licensees did not attend this hearing, and the Board subsequently issued an order sustaining the averments of the citation and directing the revocation of the licensees' liquor license.
The licensees thereafter appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, where a hearing de novo was held. That court dismissed the appeal and
sustained the action of the Board. On appeal to this Court, the licensees have raised two issues, (1) the propriety of the year-long continuance by the Board and (2) the sufficiency of the allegations contained in the Board's citation.
Section 471 of the Liquor Code, 47 P.S. § 4-471, provides, inter alia : "Upon learning of any violation of this act or any laws of this Commonwealth relating to liquor, alcohol or malt or brewed beverages, or of any regulations of the board adopted pursuant to such laws . . . the board may, within one year from the date of such violation or cause appearing, cite such licensee to appear before it or its examiner, not less than ten nor more than sixty days from the date of sending such licensee, by registered mail, a ...