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9 N.J.A.R. 319

Tarry Inn, Inc., t/a Al's Silver Dollar v. Sayreville, Mayor and Council of the Borough of
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Citation: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Decision Date: 1985
Synopsis: kicensee appealed the respondent's action suspending its plenary retail consumption license for six months based upon a charge that the licensed establishment had become a nuisance from August 17, 1982 to June 27, 1983. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that in 1983 special conditions had been imposed upon licensee at the time of its license renewal. Shortly thereafter, while an appeal was pending concerning the special conditions, the issuing authority brought the nuisance charges against the licensee. The judge found that the licensee has allowed loud noise, fighting, vandalism of private property, litter- ing and other activities; all of which amounted to the licensed business being conducted in such a manner so as to become a nuisance to adjoining property owners in violation of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.6(a)2 and N.J.A.C. 13:2.23.6(a)3. The judge rejected licensee's argument that respondent's action was defective since the respondent had decided to suspend the license in a closed door session without affording the licensee ari opportunity to be heard. Such an error on the part of the local issuing authority was found to be harmless since there had been no denial of substantial justice in the dispute and the procedural defect was cured by the subsequent de novo hearing. The judge modified the six-month suspension, based upon his evaluation of alleged circumstances including the licensee's efforts to eliminate noise and litter and the fact that special conditions had been imposed to eliminate the same circumstances which resulted in the decision to suspend. The judge ordered a license suspension of 15 days. Upon review, this initial decision was modified by the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. While accepting the judge's findings of fact and conclusions of law, the Director affirmed the issuing authority's six-month license suspension. The director noted that absent a clear abuse of descretion, the penalty imposed by the local authority should not be disturbed. Here not only was there no such abuse but there was ample evidence that the licensee had permitted a variety of nuisances on or about its premises for a significant, continuous period of time. Clark W. Convery, Esq., for appellant (Convery, Convery & Shihar, attorneys) Robert A. B!anda, Esq., for respondent
Rule(s) Cited: 13:2-23.6(a)2 13:2-23.6(a)3 
Citation Tracker modified-Div. of A.B.C.; affirmed -App. Div., A-2126-84, 5/24/85 (unreported) [Updated through 1991]