You’ve decided to buy a bar or restaurant. You’ve spent hours and hours putting together an excellent liquor license application packet (or even just a so-so one) and you are anxiously awaiting the news that will let you operate your business. Instead, you find out that the existing licensee has an SLA investigation with pending suspension proceedings. Outside abandoning the venture, what can you do?
Where suspension proceedings are pending against the licensee, the applicant or the incoming principals have the opportunity to accept, in writing, the full penalty which may be assessed against the licensee. This means that you can agree to take on the penalty of the charges that are holding up your application from being processed. Upon such acceptance, the Licensing Board may act on the pending application. If the full penalty is a civil fine, then payment of the fine may be enough. However, in most cases, the full penalty includes cancellation or revocation of the license. In the case of revocation, the principals are ineligible for a liquor license for two years. However, where the charged licensee has a good record, a Member of the Authority could impose a deferred penalty plus bond claim. Then the Licensing Board can review and approve your application without the assumption of the penalty, provided that the Licensing Board obtain from Counsel’s Office a copy of the charges, a copy of the Investigative Report which preceded the charges , and a copy of the incumbent licensee’s disciplinary history. These materials must be included in both the incumbent licensee’s file and the applicant’s file. The application file must also include Form LB-589-A.01 (see below) indicating that the Licensing Board has reviewed this material and is satisfied that the licensee would normally be entitled to good record treatment.
Working with an experienced liquor license attorney can help you prepare a package with the greatest chance for success.
In the event that incumbent licensee’s record fits the description outlined above, the Licensing Board may, absent extraordinary circumstances, grant approval of the license. (Divisional Order # 589-A, January 30, 1990). The report that must be submitted to the Licensing Board for review of the incumbent’s application for a license is set forth below.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Re: Serial No.
A suspension proceeding is pending at premises wherein the captioned applicant has applied for a license:
Pursuant to the provisions of Divisional Order No. 589-A, the following documents (which are attached hereto) have been examined.
___ Notice of Pleading and Hearing
___ Copy of Investigative Report (which preceded the institution of charges)
___ Copy of the current licensee’s disciplinary history.
___ Upon review of the above material, the current licensee would normally be entitled to Good Record treatment, and accordingly, the Licensing Board may act on this application.
___ Upon review of the above material, the current licensee is not entitled to Good Record treatment and the Licensing Board will defer action on this application.