City Council of St. Mary's v. Crump, 40187

Decision Date01 November 1983
Docket NumberNo. 40187,40187
Citation251 Ga. 594,308 S.E.2d 180
PartiesCITY COUNCIL OF ST. MARY'S, Georgia et al. v. CRUMP.
CourtGeorgia Supreme Court

James E. Stein, Stein & Henderson, St. Marys, for City Council of St. Mary's, Ga. et al.

Grayson P. Lane, Land & Coulter, Brunswick, for Kenneth L. Crump, Sr.

HILL, Chief Justice.

Kenneth Crump owns St. Marys Pizza and Package Shop in St. Marys, Georgia. In May, 1982, at a time when he held a license to sell liquor and beer, his shop suffered fire damage causing a cessation of business. In September, 1982, he applied for a continuance of his license. Because St. Marys' Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance provides in Section XI that such a license is forfeited upon a cessation of business unless the license holder makes application for a continuance within 30 days of the cessation, his application was denied. In November Crump applied for a renewal of his license. The City Council denied that application as well, on the theory that once the license was forfeited there was nothing to renew.

Crump then filed a petition for mandamus, asserting that Section 1 of the St. Mary's Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance is unconstitutional under the state and federal due process and equal protection clauses and that it violates OCGA §§ 3-2-3 (Code Ann. § 5A-303); 3-3-2 (Code Ann. § 5A-502); 3-4-49 (Code Ann. § 5A-2312); and 50-13-18 (Code Ann. § 3A-119). After a hearing the trial court denied the complaint for mandamus; however, after a hearing on Crump's motion for new trial, the trial court reconsidered and granted the complaint for mandamus. The city appeals.

1. Crump argues that, as there is no transcript of the mandamus hearing, this appeal must be affirmed because we will not assume that the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court's decision. See Hilliard v. Hilliard, 243 Ga. 424, 254 S.E.2d 372 (1979). However, that rule is inapplicable here because this is not a case involving evidentiary issues; i.e., consideration of the enumeration of errors is not dependent on the transcript of evidence. See Brown v. State, 223 Ga. 540(2), 156 S.E.2d 454 (1967). The only facts necessary for decision are set forth above and they appear in Crump's petition and are admitted in the City's answer.

2. Section XI of St. Mary's Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance provides: "Any holder of any license hereunder who shall cease to operate the business and sale of the product or products authorized, shall automatically forfeit his or her license unless continuance of license is approved by the City Council because of circumstances such as fire loss, wind damage, etc., to the business. In such event, should the holder of the license wish to maintain the license without forfeiture, such license holder must apply to the Mayor and Council for a continuance of the license not later than thirty days after the license holder ceases to operate the business and sale of the product or products authorized. The license holder shall state in his application for continuance the circumstances causing the cessation of the operation of the business and sale of the product or products authorized, and the Mayor and Council shall determine whether to continue the license." The second and third sentences were added by amendment in 1981. Crump argues that he was not given actual notice of the amendment and hence did not have notice of the 30 day time requirement. However, the license in effect at the time of the fire was issued after the 1981 amendment and thus it was clearly issued subject to the conditions and requirements of the amendment.

Moreover, Crump was charged with notice of the amendment. OCGA § 1-3-6 (Code Ann. § 102-105) provides that: "[T]he laws of this state are obligatory upon all the inhabitants thereof. Ignorance of the law excuses no one." This principal of law has been applied to municipal ordinances. Central of Georgia Ry. v. Bond, 111 Ga. 13(4), 36 S.E. 299 (1900).

Crump argues that due process requires that he be afforded a hearing before the decision revoking his license is made. However, Crump's license was revoked not by a decision to revoke but by operation of law by his ceasing to do business. Due process does not require that the City give notice to licensees after they cease doing business or cease selling alcoholic beverages that they have thirty days in which to apply for a revival of their licenses.

We conclude that Crump has not been denied due process and he makes no equal protection argument on appeal.


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8 cases
  • City of Atlanta v. Black
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • May 30, 1995
    ...1-3-6, which includes not only statutes like OCGA § 45-6-5 but also the provisions of municipal ordinances. City Council of St. Marys v. Crump, 251 Ga. 594(2), 308 S.E.2d 180 (1983). The district court, in denying defendants' motion to set aside the consent order, relied on Brumbelow v. Nor......
  • Information Systems & Networks v. City of Atlanta
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • February 6, 2002
    ...O.C.G.A. § 1-3-6. Furthermore, a party is charged with notice of state law as well as municipal codes. City Council of St. Mary's v. Crump, 251 Ga. 594, 595, 308 S.E.2d 180, 182 (1983). Upon review of the documents governing Atlanta, it is clear that Commissioner McCall lacked the authority......
  • Ga. State Licensing Bd. For Residential And Gen. Contractors v. Allen
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • March 25, 2010, OCGA § 43-41-1 et seq., including the time-limited provision allowing examination exemption. See City Council of St. Mary's v. Crump, 251 Ga. 594, 595(2), 308 S.E.2d 180 (1983). To the extent that the superior court entered the preliminary injunction on a basis other than the notice pr......
  • Daniel Corp. v. Reed
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • October 1, 2012
    ...operation of his business and later discontinues it, without ever having used the license. Compare City Council of St. Mary's v. Crump, 251 Ga. 594(2), 308 S.E.2d 180 (1983) (involving similar ordinance providing for automatic forfeiture of alcohol license if license holder ceased to operat......
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