Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County in the case of In Re: Suspension of Liquor License of Joseph D. Dentici, No. 1985-0088-Misc.
Felix Thau, Deputy Chief Counsel, with him, Kenneth B. Skelly, Chief Counsel, for appellant.
Richard S. Graff, for appellees.
Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
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The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of
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Armstrong County which reversed an order of the Board suspending for ten days the liquor license held by Joseph and Marcus Dentici (Appellees). We reverse and remand.
Appellees operate Babe's Bar in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. On August 8, 1984, the Board issued a citation which charged Appellees with having sold liquor to minors. On the scheduled hearing date, December 10, 1984, which was 124 days after the issuance of the citation, Appellees waived their right to a hearing before the Board and admitted all charges. As a result of this admission, the Board suspended Appellees' license for ten days.
Appellees appealed to the court of common pleas. At the close of the de novo hearing, the trial judge granted Appellees' motion to dismiss the case on the basis that under Section 471 of the Liquor Code*fn1 the Board was required to hold a hearing within sixty days of the issuance of a citation. This appeal followed.*fn2
The first question presented by this case is whether the common pleas court erred in addressing a moot case. Under the mootness doctrine a case may be dismissed
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for mootness at any time by a court, because generally, an actual case or controversy must exist at all stages of the judicial or administrative process. Janet D. v. Carros, 240 Pa. Superior Ct. 291, 362 A.2d 1060 (1976). The only time a court will decide a moot case is when the question presented to the court is of great public importance or when the question is one capable of repetition yet evading review or when one party to a controversy will suffer or continue to suffer some detriment without the court's decision. Commonwealth v. Smith, 336 Pa. Superior Ct. 636, 486 A.2d 445 (1984). It has been held that where a contemnor has admitted his wrongdoing, the case is moot ...