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MATTER CATERING CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE NO. CC-4837 (12/21/81)

decided: December 21, 1981.

IN RE: THE MATTER OF THE CATERING CLUB LIQUOR LICENSE NO. CC-4837, ISSUED TO FULTON POST, INC. ETC. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Fulton County in the case of In Re: The Matter of the Catering Club Liquor License No. SS-4837, issued to Fulton Post, Inc., 227 North First Street, McConnellsburg, Pa. 17233, Misc. C.P.

COUNSEL

Patrick M. McHugh, Assistant Attorney General, with him James J. Fitzgerald, III, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for appellant.

James R. Silvis, O'Connell & Silvis, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Blatt and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish.

Author: Crumlish

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 314]

The Fulton County Court of Common Pleas reversed a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board order imposing a $350.00 fine on Fulton Post, Inc. We reverse.

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 315]

PLCB agents entered the Post, a licensed premises, with permission of the steward, to conduct an inspection for gambling devices.

"Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether or not the PLCB's order is supported by sufficient evidence and whether or not the trial court committed an error of law or abused its discretion." L. & G., Inc. v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, 43 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 295, 299, 402 A.2d 305, 307 (1979).

The PLCB may inspect the entire licensee's premises during business hours,*fn1 and cite a licensee for any violation of the Liquor Code or any law of the Commonwealth.*fn2 Although gambling is not a specific violation, a license can be revoked if gambling is conducted on the premises, Commonwealth v. Runkle, 287 Pa. Superior Ct. 422, 430 A.2d 676 (1981).

The court below reasoned that Section 2-209 of the Code requires reasonable and probable cause*fn3 to conduct a warrantless search. We disagree since Section 2-209 specifically applies to a warrantless search for unlawful possession or manufacture of alcohol, not to a search incident to a lawful inspection.*fn4

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 316]

Fulton Post argues that the PLCB may not conduct warrantless searches, directing our attention to Camara v. Municipal Court of the City and County of San Francisco, 387 U.S. 523 (1967), and its companion case, See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541 (1967), which held that "except in certain carefully defined classes of cases, a search of private property without proper consent is 'unreasonable' ...


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