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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WESTMORELAND REPUBLICAN CLUB (03/30/82)

decided: March 30, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT
v.
WESTMORELAND REPUBLICAN CLUB, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Westmoreland Republican Club, No. 2361 July Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

J. Leonard Langan, Counsel, with him James J. Fitzgerald, III, Chief Counsel, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 507]

This is an appeal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which vacated the Board's 20-day suspension of the club liquor license

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 508]

    of the Westmoreland Republican Association, trading as Riverside East Club (Club).*fn1

The Board's order was based upon two findings of fact made by it:

1. The licensed organization, by its servants, agents or employes sold liquor and/or malt or brewed beverages on the licensed premises to a non-member, on December 30, 31, 1978.

2. Persons were admitted to membership in the licensee's licensed organization without written application, investigation and ballot, on December 31, 1978.

The Club filed an appeal from the Board's order. After a de novo hearing, on April 10, 1980, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County vacated the Board's order of suspension and ordered the Club to pay a fine of $250. The Board filed an appeal to this Court, and we reverse.

At the hearing before the lower court, Bettina Bunting, an enforcement officer of the Board, testified that she visited the Club at 4500 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, on December 30, 1978, at 1:30 a.m. She was met by a doorman who inquired whether she was a member. When she said no, the doorman asked her whether she knew any club members and what her employment was. Officer Bunting told the doorman that she did not know any members, that she was a waitress in center city, Philadelphia, and that she wished to become a club member. Although she testified that she offered to leave, the doorman told ...


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