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BRIDGE CAFE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/13/74)

decided: December 13, 1974.

BRIDGE CAFE, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Bridge Cafe, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 73-12-2026.

COUNSEL

Abe Lapowsky, for appellant.

Kenneth F. Carobus, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Assistant Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 59]

This is an appeal by Bridge Cafe, Inc. (appellant) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming an order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) suspending the appellant's restaurant liquor license for a period of fifteen days.

On July 30, 1973, acting on reports received from investigators for the Pennsylvania Crime Commission (Commission), the Board issued a citation to appellant to show cause why its Liquor License No. R-7947 should not be suspended or revoked and its bond forfeited. A hearing was held before the Board, which subsequently concluded that appellant had violated the laws of the Commonwealth and/or the regulations of the Board. This conclusion was based on the Board's finding of fact that "[t]he licensee, by its servants, agents or employes permitted upon the licensed premises solicitation

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 60]

    of patrons for immoral purposes, on January 6, 24, 25, 30, February 2, 6, 7, 1973." Pursuant to its finding and conclusion, the Board issued an order suspending appellant's license for a period of fifteen days, effective January 9, 1974.

The appellant appealed this order to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The Court held a de novo hearing, after which it adopted the finding of the Board and affirmed the Board's order. Appellant then brought the present appeal.

Appellant first contends that Section 471 of the Liquor Code*fn1 dictates that no penalty can be imposed against it because of the Board's failure to make an independent investigation of the alleged violation.*fn2 Section 471 reads in pertinent part as follows: "No 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."

Appellant's unique argument is that, although the Board could have issued a citation based upon the information contained in the Commission's report without sending ...


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