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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GRAND MARCUS ONE (10/29/82)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: October 29, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT
v.
GRAND MARCUS ONE, INC., T/A THE MARC ONE, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board v. Morrow's Tavern, Inc., No. 5 Misc. Dkt. 1981.

COUNSEL

Kenneth W. Makowski, Deputy Chief Counsel, with him Felix Thau, Assistant Counsel, and J. Leonard Langan, Chief Counsel, for appellant.

No appearance for appellee.

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

Author: Craig

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 484]

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board appeals a Cambria County Court of Common Pleas order which reversed the board's decision to suspend the license of The Marc One (licensee) under Section 493 of the Liquor Code.*fn1

The board found that on February 1, 1980, three minors were sitting at a table in the licensee's premises, drinking beer with individuals who were over twenty-one years old. Two of the minors testified that they had purchased beer directly from a bartender and the third minor testified that she had obtained beer from an adult friend who had bought it for her.

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 485]

However, the common pleas court, noting the inconsistencies in the testimony before the board,*fn2 concluded that "the evidence fails to prove that any of the minors purchased beer from the licensee's employees, and indeed, a strong inference can be made that the nameless adults at their table provided the alcoholic beverages."

Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether or not the board's order is supported by sufficient evidence and whether the lower court abused its discretion or committed an error of law. Skowronek Liquor License Case, 32 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 423, 379 A.2d 906 (1977).

Even accepting the common pleas court's inferential finding that adults at the bar provided the minors with beer, we must reverse for error of law. The bartender was under a duty to see to it that the adults did not furnish liquor to the minors. In re J-J Bar, Inc., 210 Pa. Superior Ct. 349, 233 A.2d 625 (1967). See also, Salvia's Bar, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, 211 Pa. Superior Ct. 275, 236 A.2d 839 (1967).

Order

Now, October 29, 1982, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, dated September 8, 1981, No. Misc. 49-1980, is hereby reversed, and the order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, dated July 1, 1980, is hereby reinstated.

Disposition

Reversed.


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