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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. AMERICAN LEGION HOME ASSN. CRESSON (04/12/84)

decided: April 12, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT
v.
AMERICAN LEGION HOME ASSN. OF CRESSON, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in case of In re: American Legion Home Association of Cresson, No. Misc. 21-1982.

COUNSEL

Gary F. DiVito, Chief Counsel, with him, Felix Thau, Assistant Counsel, for appellant.

Richard J. Green, Jr., for appellee.

Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 504]

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board appeals a decision of Judge Abood of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, which reversed the board's order imposing a three-day suspension of the catering club license held by the American Legion Home Association of Cresson.

The board's order is based on its finding of fact that the American Legion had violated the Pennsylvania Liquor Code*fn1 by making sales to non-members "without prior arrangement for such services."

Generally, a club may serve alcoholic beverages to non-members only if it has a catering club license*fn2 and certain conditions are fulfilled, in accordance with section 5.83 of the board's regulations, 40 Pa. Code § 5.83, which provides:

(a) Catering, for the purpose of this section, means the furnishing of liquor or malt or

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 505]

    brewed beverages, or both, to be served with food on the premises or brought onto the premises already prepared, for the accommodation of groups of nonmembers who are using the facilities of the club by prior arrangement, made at least twenty-four hours in advance of the time for private meetings or functions, such as dances, card parties, banquets, and the like; and which is paid for by such nonmembers.

(b) A record shall be maintained showing the date and time catering arrangements were made, the name of the person or organization making the arrangements, and the approximate numbers of persons to be accommodated. (Emphasis added.)

Where, as here, a licensee appeals a board order, the court of common pleas must address the matter de novo, and "shall, in the exercise of its discretion, sustain, reject, alter or modify the findings, conclusions and penalties of the board, based on the findings of fact and conclusions of law as found by the court." 47 P.S. § 4-471; see Margolis Wines & ...


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