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MATTER QUAKER CITY DEVELOPMENT CO. (06/16/76)

decided: June 16, 1976.

IN THE MATTER OF: QUAKER CITY DEVELOPMENT CO., INC., PENROSE AVENUE AND PENROSE FERRY ROAD, PHILADELPHIA, PA. 19145. QUAKER CITY DEVELOPMENT CO., INC., APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of In the Matter of Revocation of Hotel Liquor License No. H-4868, Amusement Permit No. AP-21216, and Sunday Sales Permit No. SS-158, issued to Quaker City Development Co., Inc., No. 75-02-2078.

COUNSEL

Michael D. Dioretti, with him Peruto, Ryan & Vitullo, for appellant.

J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Chief Counsel, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Crumlish

[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 191]

Quaker City Development Co., Inc. (Appellant) comes to us on appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas which affirmed the order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) suspending Appellant's hotel liquor license for five (5) days. After conducting hearings, both the Board and the court below found as a fact that Appellant, by its servants, agents or employes had permitted gambling on the licensed premises on August 15, 1974.

The record discloses that on August 15, 1974, Appellant leased its premises to a church group which conducted a bingo game, the proceeds of which were to benefit the church.

[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 192]

Section 471 of the Liquor Code*fn1 (Code) provides: "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, of any violation of any laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States of America relating to the tax payment of liquor or malt or brewed beverages by any licensee within the scope of this article, his officers, servants, agents or employes, or upon any other sufficient cause shown, the board may . . . cite such licensee to appear before it or its examiner . . . to show cause why such license should not be suspended or revoked or a fine imposed. . . . Upon such hearing, if satisfied that any such violation has occurred or for other sufficient cause, the board shall immediately suspend or revoke the license, or impose a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000)." (Emphasis added.)

The Pennsylvania Crimes Code*fn2 provides that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if he: "(4) being the owner, tenant, lessee or occupant of any premises, knowingly permits or suffers the same, or any part thereof, to be used for the purpose of unlawful gambling."

In a case of this type, our review is to determine whether sufficient evidence supports the Board's order, after having found as a fact that a law had been violated, and whether the court below committed an error of law or abused its discretion. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Wisnoff Co., 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 371, 318 A.2d 774 (1974). The license revocation proceeding is administrative rather than criminal in nature. Therefore, there need only be a preponderance

[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 193]

    of the evidence of violation of the criminal law. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board v. Petty, 216 Pa. Superior Ct. 55, 258 A.2d 874 (1969). It need not require, as Appellant urges, an arrest or conviction under the Crimes Code. The record indicates that there is sufficient evidence to support the finding that Appellant ...


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