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ACORN CLUB SWISSVALE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/06/85)

decided: December 6, 1985.

ACORN CLUB OF SWISSVALE, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Acorn Club of Swissvale, Inc., License No. C-2817, No. SA86 of 1982.

COUNSEL

Edward A. McQuoid, for appellant.

Felix Thau, Assistant Counsel, with him Gary F. Di Vito, Chief Counsel, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 336]

This appeal involves a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) decision to fine the Acorn Club of

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 337]

Swissvale for permitting gambling devices on licensed premises.*fn1 The Allegheny County Common Pleas Court upheld the fine. The Acorn Club appeals; we affirm.

On September 30, 1982, a LCB agent cited the Club for the presence of two "horoscope" machines on its premises. The trial court found that these converted postage-stamp machines were gambling devices per se.

Where a Liquor Code violation is heard de novo in the common pleas court, our scope of review is limited to determining whether the trial court abused its discretion or committed an error of law and whether the LCB's order is supported by sufficient evidence. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Appeal, 82 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 142, 474 A.2d 738 (1984).

The Acorn Club contends that the trial court erred in denying its defense of collateral estoppel. The same two machines were the subject of an earlier LCB enforcement proceeding which was dismissed on a demurrer by the same trial judge.

The trial court rejected this defense because the Club failed to offer the record of the prior case into evidence. It is well established that a court may not ordinarily take judicial notice in one case of the records in another case even though the case arose in the same court and the contents of those records are known to the court. Callery v. Blythe Township Municipal Authority, 432 Pa. 307, 308, 243 A.2d 385, 386 (1968).

We find no extenuating circumstances for deviating from this doctrine in this case. The inherent mechanical nature of these and other related amusement ...


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