Alcoholic Beverages

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Appeal
The filing of an appeal under N.J.S.A. 13:2-17.3 takes place upon receipt of the notice by the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control; if the notice is not received within 30 days, the Director lacks jurisdiction to hear the case. Decision: 3 N.J.A.R. 183
While N.J.A.C. 13:2-17.3 requires that an appeal taken from the renewal of an alcoholic beverage license by a municipal issuing authority must be taken within 30 days, the filing of the appeal takes place upon receipt by the Director rather than upon the mailing of the notice. Decision: 3 N.J.A.R. 183
Arbitrary Action
A municipality's revocation of a plenary retail consumption license is not arbitrary or capricious where evidence demonstrates that the continuance of the licensed premises in its present location would constitute a public nuisance since licensee is responsible for conditions inside and outside the premises caused by the licensee's patrons. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 238
Atlantic City
Because of the presence of legalized gambling in Atlantic City, the Director must be particularly careful in exercising his supervision and control in determining whether the public good requires the issuance of a license. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
Bias
Bias on the part of a local issuing authority or witnesses must be established by convincing proof and not mere allegation. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Brand Regulation
"Primary source" and "brand registration" regulations serve the purpose of identifying licensees subject to taxation, provide a degree of stability within the market place and promote interbrand competition. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 294
Where "primary source" and "brand registration" regulations have a rational relationship to the purpose intended they are valid. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 294
Burden of Proof
An applicant always bears the burden of proof with respect to establishing fitness for licensure; lack of an arrest record and meeting the legal age limit do no.t establish a "threshold of licensure" but merely indicate that an applicant is not statutorily disqualified from licensure. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
Club License
Where a licensee is found not to be a bona fide club, the only appropriate cause of action is to revoke the licensee's club license pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12(5) and N.J.A.C. 13:2-8.2. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 365
Community Sentiment
ALJ holds that a local issuing authority abused its discretion in denying a place-to-place transfer of liquor license, when it failed to determine broad community sentiment and placed too great an emphasis on objections of nearby churches. Rejected by agency on finding that ALJ substituted his judgment on the facts of the local issuing authority. Decision: 7 N.J.A.R. 029
Concessionaire Permit
In reviewing applications for a special concessionaire permit, the Director must, in exercising his extensive powers of supervision and control, determine if the public good requires the issuance of a license. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
Constitutional Law
Administrative proceedings are not usually the appropriate forum in which to decide constitutional claims. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
Controlled Dangerous Substance
Where a good faith effort to discourage unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance on a licensed premises has occurred, licensee has not violated N.J.A.C 13:2-23.5(b). Decision: 5 N.J.A.R. 273
Where testimony demonstrates that a licensed premises was a persistent complaint area, a licensee may be deemed to have prior notice of narcotics activities on the premises and thus had allowed, permitted or suffered the sale of narcotics in violation of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.5(b). Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 403
Discovery
Providing investigative reports to a licensee constitutes appropriate discovery in a case involving charges of permitting lewd dancing. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
Discretion
While the issuance of a license under the hotel/ motel exception of N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.20 is permissive, a local issuing authority must exercise its discretion reasonably. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 286
Employee List
For the purpose of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.13(a)3 and its requirement that licensees maintain a list of those working on the premises, it is immaterial whether dancers performing on the premises were in the employ of the licensee or independent contractors. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
Evidence
Where a licensee is charged with the sale of an alcoholic beverage to an actually or an apparently intoxicated person and the licensee fails to call the served individual, an adverse inference against the integrity of the licensee arises. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 380
"Front"
A "front" is the aetive control of a liquor establishment by someone other than the named licensee and by someone who would otherwise be disqualified from holding a liquor license. Decision: 1 N.J.A.R. 365
An undisclosed interest in a liquor license may be found to exist where the husband of the named licensee negotiated for the purchase of the license, it was the husband to whom all business questions were related, and who was identified as the manager of the business. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 262
Good Cause
N.J.S.A. 33:01-12.39 which requires the Division of Alcoholic Beverages' approval for the renewal of a Class C license if that license has not been actively used for the preceding two years has only prospective application. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 360
Applicants demonstrated good cause for renewal of their license where they moved as expeditiously as possible through all phases of the application process and throughout that period repeatedly petitioned the local issuing authority to amend a distance ordinance which prevented the active loss of the license. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 360
Proof of good faith efforts to activate a liquor license and the establishment of a record which permitted a conclusion that activation by someone else would be just as difficult supports a determination that good cause exists for the removal of the license. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 278
While recognizing that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.39, good cause for the renewal of a liquor license, will be evaluated on the particular facts of a case, the Director has established standards to determine the existence of good cause. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 225
In establishing good cause for the renewal of a liquor license pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.39, a petitioner must not only demonstrate efforts to activate the license but also show a realistic prognosis as to when it expects the license to be actively used as well. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 215
If a licensee is deprived of the use of a plenary retail consumption license because of fire, eminent domain or casualty, a standard of "good faith effort to resume active use" will be applied; in all other cases, good cause is required for renewal. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 215
Good Faith
If a licensee is deprived of the use of a plenary retail consumption license because of fire, eminent domain or casualty, a standard of "good faith effort to resume active use" will be applied; in all other cases, good cause is required for renewal. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 215
Hotel/Motel Exception
Where a hotel complex meets all the requirements of N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.20 and has been encouraged by local officials, those officials may not subsequently impose an unwritten policy which would require the hotel's developers to purchase an ex- isting license rather than apply for a new one. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 286
While the issuance of a license under the hotel/ motel exception of N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.20 is permissive, a local issuing authority must exercise its discretion reasonably. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 286
Investigating Agents
Minor inconsistencies in the testimony of investigating agents does not destroy their credibility. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
An agent's observations, along with the natural and probable inferences to be drawn therefrom, were sufficient on which to base a finding of guilt. Decision: 11 N.J.A.R. 478
Lewd Behavior
The fact that patrons of a licensed liquor establishment were advised of the type of dancing which went on inside the establishment does not take the dancing out of the context of the lewd. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 221
Providing investigative reports to a licensee constitutes appropriate discovery in a case involving charges of permitting lewd dancing. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
License
A municipality's revocation of a plenary retail consumption license is not arbitrary or capricious where evidence demonstrates that the continuance of the licensed premises in its present location would constitute a public nuisance since licensee is responsible for conditions inside and outside the premises caused by the licensee's patrons. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 238
The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is without authority to prevent the transfer of a person-to-person liquor license which may or may not be the only asset of a corporation owing an unliquidated debt to an objector. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 197
A liquor license in and of itself is not properly subject to attachment or lien. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 197
Since an applicant always bears the burden of establishing fitness for licensure, the fact that he had never been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude may be found to be insufficient to demonstrate suitability for licensure. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 078
An applicant always bears the burden of proof â with respect to establishing fitness for licensure; lack of an arrest record and meeting the legal age limit do not establish a "threshold of lieensure" but merely indicate that an applicant is not statutorily disqualified from licensure. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
Because of the presence of legalized gambling in Atlantic City, the Director must be particularly careful in exercising his supervision and control in determining whether the public good requires the issuance of a license. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
In reviewing applications for a special concessionaire permit, the Director must, in exercising his extensive powers of supervision and control, determine if the public good requires the issuance of a license. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
Failure to maintain the required possessory interest in potentially licensed premises will result in a denial of a license application. Decision: 10 N.J.A.R. 001
License--Conditions
A renewal of a" plenary retail consumption license conditioned on a restriction of service to patrons seated at tables is a reasonable one since evidence supported a need to avoid overcrowding on the licensed premises. Decision: 1 N.J.A.R. 284
While a local licensing authority may choose not to renew a liquor license, it may not grant a license under conditions which could not reasonably be satisfied. Decision: 1 N.J.A.R. 284
Where a local licensing authority, as a condition for license renewal, requires that alcoholic beverages be served only in connection with the operation of a restaurant and uncontradicted testimony established that the licensee's present location and building are not suitable for a restaurant, such a condition is unreasonable and invalid. Decision: 1 N.J.A.R. 284
A renewal of a plenary retail consumption license conditioned on a ban of "rock music" at the licensed premises is unreasonable and thus invalid since no attempt was made to limit such a prohibi- tion to definable terms. Decision: 1 N.J.A.R. 284
The approval by a local issuing authority of a liquor license transfer is not subject to local zoning board approval where a license is transferred with a special condition attached that should the premises be used as a discotheque, zoning board approval would have to be obtained. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Failure to submit special conditions for approval to the Director of ABC prior to the issuance of a license is a mere technicality and, when timely raised, may be considered on the merits, nunc pro tunc. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
License--Distance Requirement
Where a local ordinance prescribed that no plenary retail consumption license should be located within 500 feet of an already existing license, that distance should be measured, not in a straight line across a highway, but in the normal way that a pedestrian would lawfully walk. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 218
A municipality must apply an ordinance in effect at the time it makes its decision; thus a borough council was correct in denying an application and request for a hearing on a transfer of a plenary retail consumption license based on the borough's distance ordinance. Decision: 3 N.J.A.R. 357
Where a proposed transfer would not violate a municipal distance requirement, the denial of the transfer is not justifiable based on the municipality's concern over the concentration of such licenses in one area. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 153
ALJ concludes that licensing authority acts unreasonably when it denies a place-to-place transfer of liquor license where, although proposed site meets the 200 foot distance requirement from the nearest church, licensing authority places too great an emphasis on objection of nearby churches and thus denies license. Agency rejects on grounds that ALJ substitutes his judgment on facts for that of local issuing authority. Decision: 7 N.J.A.R. 029
License--Inactive
Doing all a reasonable licensee could have done for renewal will not justify the renewal of an inactive license; good cause for renewal must be established. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 225
In determining whether to authorize a multi-term inactive license, a dominant emphasis must be placed upon the realistic prognosis as to when the license will be activated; in light of such a standard, all prior petitions and special rulings must be reviewed. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 225
Where a petitioner demonstrates that a plenary retail consumption license will be activated before the end of the current term and that it had assumed, albeit incorrectly, that its previous annual filings with the municipality had preserved its license, the Director authorized renewal of the current license, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.39 Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 215
License --Renewal
N.J.S.A. 33:01-12.39 which requires the Division of Alcoholic Beverage's approval for the renewal of a Class C license if that license has not been actively used for the preceding two years has only prospective application. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 360
Applicants demonstrated good cause for renewal of their license where they moved as expeditiously as possible through all phases of the application process and throughout that period repeatedly petitioned the local issuing authority to amend a distance ordinance which prevented the active loss of the license. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 457
The broad powers of the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control include the ability to issue an order rnunc pro tunc authorizing the renewal of a present liquor license. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 360
While recognizing that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.39, good cause for the renewal of a liquor license, will be evaluated on the particular facts of a case, the Director has established standards to determine the existence of good cause. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 225
In establishing good cause for the renewal of a liquor license pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.39, a petitioner must not only demonstrate efforts to activate the license but also show a realistic prognosis as to when it expects the license to be actively used as well. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 215
License--Special Condition
Once a special condition is established before a license may be activated, that condition will only be vacated upon clear justification of imminent activation. Roselli v. Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 225
License --Transfer
Any attempted withdrawal of a consent to a person-to-person retail consumption license once it has been validly executed is prohibited. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 432
Once a license transfer has been executed any claim that the transfer was against the interest of creditors should be pursued in a court of law and not in an administrative proceeding seeking to set aside the transfer. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 432
License --Transfer--Third Party Creditor
Application for person-to-person transfer of plenary retail license was properly denied. Consent to transfer cannot be attached by a third party credit. Decision: 12 N.J.A.R. 458
Licensee's Responsibilities
A licensee's responsibility to maintain its premises included not only responsibility for its own conduct but also for conditions inside and outside the premises caused by its patrons. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 238
A licensee is responsible and fully accountable for the activities and violations committed by its agents. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 013
Revocation of a liquor license is appropriate when the president of the licensee corporation was found in possession of cocaine on the licensed premises even if the minority corporate stockholders claimed lack of knowledge of the incident since all licensees must take precautions to prevent such conduct. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 161
While a licensee is fully responsible for violations of its employees, its efforts to eradicate a drug problem around its premises should result in a lesser penalty. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 013
When a licensee does not expressly warn his employees to avoid violation of the law, he may be found to have allowed the possession of narcotic implements upon the licensed premises. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 221
Almost absolute strict liability is imposed upon a licensee for any prohibited activities ("Liquor Traffic Violations" or otherwise) which occur upon its licensed premises. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 403
Where testimony demonstrates that a licensed premises was a persistent complaint area, a licensee may be deemed to have prior notice of narcotics activities on the premises and thus had allowed, permitted or suffered the sale of narcotics in violation of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.5(b). Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 403
For the purpose of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.13(a)3 and its requirement that licensees maintain a list of those working on the premises, it is immaterial whether dancers performing on the premises were in the employ of the licensee or independent contractors. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
Local Issuing Authority
Suspension of a plenary retail consumption license at a closed door session of a local issuing authority is harmless error where no denial of justice takes place and any procedural violation is cured by a subsequent de novo hearing. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Absent a clear abuse of discretion, the penalty imposed by a local issuing authority should not be set aside. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Mitigation
While a licensee is fully responsible for violations of its employees, its efforts to eradicate a drug problem around its premises should result in a lesser penalty. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 013
Nuisance
Loitering and traffic in front of a licensed premises at varying hours of the day and night, as well as, activities ranging from gambling and harassment to narcotics offenses constitute a nuisance and justify revocation of a plenary retail consumption license. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 238
Since a licensee's responsibility to maintain its premises includes not only responsibility for its own conduct, but also for conditions inside and outside the premises caused by its patrons, its failure to control nuisance conditions would justify revocation of its license. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 238
Lack of any master plan, statute or ordinance concerning itself with the geographical distribu- tion of package stores in a township will not support the denial of a license transfer based upon the township's fears of a geographical concentration of licenses. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 153
Where a licensee has been found to allow loud noise, fighting, vandalism of private property and littering that licensee has violated N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.6(a)2 and 3 by allowing its business to become a nuisance to adjoining property owners. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Where testimony demonstrates that a licensed premises was a persistent complaint area, a licensee may be deemed to have prior notice of narcotics activities on the premises and thus had allowed, permitted or suffered the sale of narcotics in violation of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.5(b). Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 403
Penalty
Where unlawful situations involving liquor licenses exist the appropriate penalty is an indefinite suspension of the license until corrective action is established. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 262
Director will not allow licensees to pay a monetary offer for any part of a license suspension where the evidence of the violations is overwhelming and the licensee had not, despite the evidence, settled the case before a hearing. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 303
License suspension of 310 days imposed where licensee was found to have allowed lewd performances, commercialized gambling, offering unlimited drinks at a set price and failure to keep current employee lists. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 303
Where a licensee is found not to be a bona fide club, the only appropriate course of action is to revoke the licensee's club license pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12(5) and N.J.A.C. 13:2-8.2 Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 365
A six-month license suspension is justified where ample evidence exists that a licensee has permitted a variety of abuses on or about its premises. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Absent a clear abuse of discretion, the penalty imposed by a local issuing authority should not be set aside. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Almost absolute strict liability is imposed upon a licensee for any prohibited activities ("Liquor Traffic Violations" or otherwise) which occur upon its licensed premises. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 403
Primary Source
"Primary source" and "brand registration" regulations serve the purpose of identifying licensees subject to taxation, provide a degree of stability within the market place and promote interbrand competition. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 294
Where "primary source" and "brand registration" regulations have a rational relationship to the purpose intended they are valid. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 294
Procedural Irregularity
Suspension of a plenary retail consumption license at a closed door session of a local issuing authority is harmless error where no denial of justice takes place and any procedural violation is cured by a subsequent de novo hearing. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 319
Regulations
The validity of a regulation may not be attacked based upon a lack of pre-adoption "hearings" where ample comment time had been provided for in the adoption process. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
One challenging the validity of a regulation always bears the burden of proof. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 349
Rehabilitation Employment Permit
Individuals convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude may be employed in a licensed liquor establishment provided that employment is not contrary to the public interest. Decision: 1 N.J.A.R. 365
Sale to Intoxicated Person
Where a licensee is charged with the sale of an alcoholic beverage to an actually or apparently intoxicated person, the applicable standard for review was whether a reasonable mind might view external characteristics as indications of intoxication; to accept an argument that the individual's conduct was not a deviation from his normal behavior would require aninvestigating agent to know the individual idiosyncrasies of each drinker. Decision: 2 N.J.A.R. 380
Where conduct observed by a licensee's employees is insufficient to give rise to a conclusion by a reasonable mind that a patron's behavior departed from the norm, the licensee is not guilty of serving alcohol to an apparently intoxicated person. Decision: 5 N.J.A.R. 141
Sale to Underage Person
There was sufficient evidence that the licensee permitted the sale of alcoholic beverages to a person under the legal age, based on agent's observations from outside the premises. Decision: 11 N.J.A.R. 478
Special Condition
The approval by a local issuing authority of a liquor license transfer is not subject to local zoning board approval where a license is transferred with a special condition attached that should the premises be used as a discotheque, zoning board approval would have to be obtained. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 382
Failure to submit special conditions for approval to the Director of ABC prior to the issuance of a license is a mere technicality and, when timely raised, may be considered on the merits, nunc pro tunc. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 382
Stay
The denial of a stay of an administrative proceeding pending the outcome of a criminal proceeding does not violate an individual's due process rights. Decision: 6 N.J.A.R. 221
Successor-In-Interest
A successor-in-interest to the rights of privileges of a brand, product or label is, as far as continued distribution to wholesalers in the State, bound as a supplier to the authorizations made by its predecessor. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 248
True Books
A charge of failing to maintain true books of account may be found to be established where there has been a commingling of business funds from outside sources and documents have been prepared to falsify the source of funds for the original business venture. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 262
Undisclosed Interest
An undisclosed interest in a liquor license may Interest be found to exist where the husband of the named licensee negotiated for the purchase of the license; it was the husband to whom all business questions were related and who was identified as the manager of the business. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 262
Unliquidated Debt
Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is without authority to prevent a person-to-person liquor license which may or may not be the only asset of a corporation owing an unliquidated debt to an objector. Decision: 4 N.J.A.R. 197
Video Machines
Exceptions to the video machine ban of N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.7(a)4 are issued directly to the manufacturer and require that a copy of the exception be maintained on the licensed premises and that the Division be notified within 48 hours of a machine's placement. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 297
A video machine may be easily utilized for or adapted to gambling where the functions of the machine include the ability to insert an unlimited number of coins to build up "credits," to recognize winning play by showing accumulated "credits" which stay displayed and the ability to erase quickly (i.e., pay off) the credits by utilizing a rapid credit-elimination device; as such the machine may not be placed upon a licensed premises pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.7(a)4. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 297
Video machines simulating gaming operations which can be easily utilized for or adapted to actual gambling cannot be placed upon liquor licensed premises. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 297
Wholesalers
N.J.S.A. 33:1-93.6, which prohibits discrimination in sales of alcoholic beverages to wholesalers, was found to be constitutional since it relates reasonably to the State's legitimate interest in preventing wholesaler monopolies and any con- stitutional contract clause rights were outweighed by the legitimate legislative purpose of the statute. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 250
Zoning Approval
The approval by a local issuing authority of a liquor license transfer is not subject to local zoning board approval where a license is transferred with a special condition attached that should the premises be used as a discotheque, zoning board approval would have to be obtained. Decision: 9 N.J.A.R. 382