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6 N.J.A.R. 221

Paterson, City of, Municipal Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Canal Street Pub, Inc. v
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Citation: 6 N.J.A.R. 221
Decision Date: 1982
Synopsis: The Canal Street Pub was charged with several counts of allowing lewd and immoral conduct to take place on its premises and as a result of a hearing before the municipal issuing authority, its license was suspended for 90 days. Charges that the Pub had violated a special condition placed upon its license and had allowed one of its employees to have unlawfull possession of narcotic implements were also sus- tained and resulted in a revocation of the Pub's license. The administrative law judge found that the dancers employed by the Pub had engaged in dancing characterized by gross sexuality and that the Pub had indeed allowed live entertainment on its premises in violation of a special condition imposed upon its license. In ad- dition, the judge found that one of the Pub's dancers had had a set of hypodermic needles and syringes in her purse. The judge rejected the argument that he could make a determination on the facial constitutionality of a local ordinance since such a de- termination must be made by the courts. The judge noted that the fact that the patrons of the Pub were advised of the type of dancing which went on before they entered did not take the dancing out of the context of lewd; nor did the judge accept the argument that the dancing was an artistic expression and thus protected as a form of speech. Even if the dancing were found not to have appealed to the purient interest, the judge noted that it would still be violative of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control's long standing policy against topless dancers. In addition, the judge found that since the licensee had not expressly warned his employees to avoid violation of the law, he could be found to have suffered the possesion of narcotic imple- 222 Office of Administrative [aw ments even without knowing of their existence. Nor did the judge find that the denial of a stay of the administrative hearing pending the outcome of a criminal proceeding violated the licensee's due process rights. Accordingly, the administrative law judge affirmed the suspension of the licensee. Robert Graves Rosenberg, Esq., for appellant (Rosenberg and Beam, attorneys) Ralph L. DeLuccia, Jr., Esq., for respondent