Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of In Re: Appeal of Emersons of Plymouth Meeting, t/a Emersons Ltd. from Order of Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 452 October Term, 1975.
J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Chief Counsel, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellant.
No appearance or brief for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr. and Wilkinson, Jr., sitting as a panel of two. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 469]
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) has appealed the decision of the court of common pleas reducing the term of a Board-imposed suspension of the restaurant liquor license of Emersons of Plymouth Meeting (Appellee) from ten to seven days. We reverse.
The case stems from a March 19, 1975 incident involving the alleged sale of an alcoholic beverage to two fifteen-year olds in violation of Section 493(1) of the Liquor Code.*fn1 The Board issued a citation to Appellee and, after a hearing, found that the alleged
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 470]
illegal sale had taken place and ordered a ten-day suspension of Appellee's restaurant liquor license. A de novo hearing was held before the court below, at which a Board enforcement officer, the two minors, and Appellee's general manager testified. As part of its case, Appellee produced some 37 guest checks issued on the evening that the minors allegedly were served, in an effort to demonstrate that no dinner and drink combination similar to that which the minors testified they ordered was, in fact, served during the time in question. These checks had not been introduced before the Board.
Following the testimony and counsels' closing arguments, the court rendered its decision orally, in the course of which it made the following comments:
These young people . . . strike me as being perfectly honest and truthful and forthright, and though there were some minor discrepancies in the testimony which they presented it is to be observed that their testimony was essentially the same. . . .
The difficulty in the case is not so much whether or not Emersons is a responsible business house, I think that it is, or whether or not these young people are truthful, I think that they are; the nut that's difficult to crack in this case is conceding for the moment or finding, as I have, that there was indeed a violation, ...