Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, in the case of In Re: Union Beverage, Inc., No. 966 of 1986, dated October 10, 1986.
Felix Thau, Deputy Chief Counsel, for appellant.
John R. Sobota, with him, William A. DeGillio, for appellee.
Judges Craig, McGinley and Smith, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 171]
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County which sustained, as to two of three citations, an appeal by Union Beverage, Inc. (Union). Union had appealed three LCB citations to the trial court: No. 1609, in which the LCB fined Union $750 for selling to a minor on March 1, 1985; No. 2405, in which the LCB suspended Union's license for five days for selling to a minor on May 31, 1985; and No. 1002, in which the LCB suspended Union's license for three days for selling to a minor on June 6, 1983, and for failing to include required information on sales invoices during the period from March 1, 1984 through January 14, 1985. The trial court's order set aside citations No. 1609 and No. 1002.
The sole issue on appeal is whether the LCB issued these two citations within the one-year time period set
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 172]
forth in section 471 of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 4-471.
Our scope of review is limited to determining whether the board's orders are supported by substantial evidence or whether the trial court committed an error of law. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board v. Eclectic Enterprises, Inc., 76 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 626, 464 A.2d 683 (1983).
Section 4-471 provides in pertinent part:
Upon hearing of any violation of this act . . . the board may, within one year from the date of such violation or cause appearing, cite such licensee to appear before it . . . to show cause why such licensee should not be suspended or revoked or a fine imposed. (Emphasis added.)
The trial judge found that, in No. 1609, the violation took place on March 1, 1985, but that the LCB did not issue the citation until March 26, 1986. Similarly, in No. 1002, the judge found that the violations occurred on June 6, 1983 and from March 1, 1984 until January 14, 1985, but that the LCB did not issue the citation until April 25, 1986. Because those findings indicated that the LCB had issued its citations in these cases more than one year after the date of the ...