Licensing Applications Affected By Revocation Proceedings

What happens if you have a pending revocation proceeding and you want to file something at the State Liquor Authority?

The answer depends on what you want to file, and how serious the pending charges are. This is not a uncommon scenario, especially since disciplinary proceedings take many months to resolve. Renewals or business sales often arise during the pendency of disciplinary action, necessitating filing before the matter is finally resolved.

If you are filing a new application, transfer application, corporate change application, removal petition, it shall be processed in the usual manner by the examiner and referred to the Licensing Board. If the application warrants disapproval on the merits, disapproval on the merits should be taken by the Licensing Board without awaiting the completion of the revocation proceeding. In most cases, the full Board will review the application at a public meeting.

In all other instances where revocation proceedings are pending, that is, a request other than the type identified above (transfer, corporate change, removal or new application), the Licensing Board will disapprove the application, stating as its reason that a revocation proceeding involving the licensee and the licensed premises is pending, that the revocation proceeding may result in the revocation of the license. (Divisional Order #589-A, January 30, 1990). There is a procedure for a denied applicant to request a review and reconsideration of the disapproved application.

Another procedural avenue available to the Examiner is to issue a SAPA letter, keeping the status quo for a temporary period, delaying final action on the application until some pending matter is complete. This is more common in renewal applications. While not an outright renewal of the license, this allows the establishment to continue to operate temporarily.

Despite the procedure, it is often the case that two pending SLA matters (an application and a disciplinary matter, or two co-pending applications) cause chaos in the SLA. Different departments process different application types and co-pending requests often cause confusion. SLA staff warns to avoid this whenever possible.  However, some situations make it unavoidable, especially given the many months it takes to resolve a disciplinary matter these days. Any application filed while there are pending disciplinary proceedings should be accompanied by a cover letter and/or applicant’s supplemental statement to explain the situation and perhaps reference the Divisional Order’s Directive for processing in the normal course. Working with an experienced SLA attorney will help you traverse this complex maze of law and procedure, getting you on the path to making money and overcoming the disciplinary issues at the past.