DLC Corp., In re, No. 97-321

Docket NºNo. 97-321
Citation167 Vt. 544, 712 A.2d 389
Case DateMay 01, 1998
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Vermont

Page 389

712 A.2d 389
167 Vt. 544
In re DLC CORPORATION d/b/a Pour Man's Pub.
No. 97-321.
Supreme Court of Vermont.
May 1, 1998.

Page 390

Lamar Enzor of Abatiell & Valerio, Rutland, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, and William Griffin, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Montpelier, for Defendant-Appellee.

Before DOOLEY, MORSE, JOHNSON and SKOGLUND, JJ.

SKOGLUND, Justice.

DLC Corporation d/b/a/ Pour Man's Pub appeals an order of the Vermont Liquor Control Board, which issued a first and third-class liquor license to DLC subject to several conditions. DLC contends that the Board exceeded both its constitutional and statutory authority by placing those conditions upon DLC's liquor license. We affirm.

Laurel Chapman is the sole director and stockholder of DLC, which leased a building in Rutland to be used as a bar--Pour Man's Pub. The building had housed another bar--June's Corner Bar--previously, and Glenn David Chapman, Ms. Chapman's husband, managed June's Corner Bar for several months before DLC leased the premises. While not formally connected with DLC, Mr. Chapman helped develop DLC's business plan, and both the husband and wife had spoken of Pour Man's Pub as if it were a jointly-held business. After Pour Man's Pub opened, Mr. Chapman performed janitorial services and "odd jobs" for the pub. In addition, he tended bar part-time and arranged promotional events and hired entertainment for the pub.

In 1996, DLC applied to the Board for a liquor license, and a hearing was held. At that time, Mr. Chapman had been charged with, but not yet convicted of, the crime of conspiracy relating to the delivery of cocaine, in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 1404(a). On May 16, 1996, the Board granted DLC a first-class 1 and third-class 2 liquor license with the following condition:

Page 391

It is a specific condition of the continued licensure that Mr. Glenn David Chapman NOT be convicted of the crime he is currently charged with or any other crime of any type, misdemeanor or felony. In the event a conviction of any crime occurs, these licenses shall be subject to immediate review by the Board of Liquor Control and treated as ... new license applications. The Board will then offer the licensee a hearing and make a decision whether or not to revoke the conditional license issued this date, whether or not to issue a new license, and if so, whether to subject and condition such further license.

In November 1996, a police officer discovered Mr. Chapman smoking marijuana and sitting in an automobile owned and licensed by DLC that was parked in an alley next to the Pour Man's Pub. A small amount of marijuana was also found on Mr. Chapman. He was arrested and later pleaded nolo contendere and was adjudicated guilty of the misdemeanor crime of possession of marijuana. See 18 V.S.A. § 4230(a).

Mr. Chapman's pending conspiracy charge was subsequently amended to a misdemeanor charge of possession of cocaine. On January 8, 1997, Mr. Chapman pleaded nolo contendere to the amended charge and was adjudicated guilty. 3 Upon learning that the condition under which DLC's license was granted had been violated, the Board informed DLC that if DLC did not request a hearing within five days then DLC's liquor license would be revoked. DLC requested a hearing, and the Board held proceedings on June 17, 1997. After the hearing, the Board issued DLC a first-class and third-class liquor license with the following conditions:

1. Glenn David Chapman shall have no legal or de facto ownership interest in or managerial responsibilities for the DLC Corporation, d/b/a Pour Man's Pub; and

2. Because of Glenn David Chapman's prior and repeated criminal activities, including those criminal activities taking place outside of licensed premises, the Board finds it necessary in the public interest and considering the public health, safety and morals, that in the event Glenn David Chapman were to be found on the licensed premises by any competent evidence therefore, this Board will issue an emergency closing order by which the liquor license issued to the DLC Corporation, d/b/a/ Pour Man's Pub will be immediately revoked pending a hearing which shall be granted on short notice, at which hearing the Board will determine whether once again Glenn David Chapman violated the condition under which the license was issued by being physically on the premises. If this Board finds that CHAPMAN was in fact upon the premises, the license in the discretion of this Board, will be permanently revoked.

This appeal followed.

DLC contends that by conditioning its liquor license upon the requirement that DLC "absolutely" control Mr. Chapman's access to the premises, the Board exceeded its statutory and constitutional authority. First, DLC contends that the second condition is improper because it has nothing to do with the fitness of DLC to conduct its business and sell liquor. In addition, DLC contends that the second condition interferes with its constitutionally-protected right to run a business. Finally, DLC alleges that DLC cannot lawfully control the movements of Mr. Chapman because Mr. Chapman is not a shareholder, owner, or employee of DLC and, therefore, the condition is unreasonable and...

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2 practice notes
  • Routhier v. Goggins, Case No. 5:16–cv–102
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • January 18, 2017
    ...Catering Corp. v. United States, 397 U.S. 72, 90 S.Ct. 774, 25 L.Ed.2d 60 (1970), and Vermont is no exception. See In re DLC Corp., 167 Vt. 544, 547–48, 712 A.2d 389, 391–92 (1998).Regulation of the sale of alcohol in Vermont is comprehensive. The liquor control statutes prohibit the import......
  • In re Rusty Nail Acquisition, Inc., No. 08-338.
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • June 26, 2009
    ...their establishments, which are places where intoxicated people may pose a threat to themselves and to public safety. See In re DLC Corp., 167 Vt. 544, 548, 712 A.2d 389, 392 (1998) (pointing out that the State may "permit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor under such cond......
2 cases
  • Routhier v. Goggins, Case No. 5:16–cv–102
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • January 18, 2017
    ...Catering Corp. v. United States, 397 U.S. 72, 90 S.Ct. 774, 25 L.Ed.2d 60 (1970), and Vermont is no exception. See In re DLC Corp., 167 Vt. 544, 547–48, 712 A.2d 389, 391–92 (1998).Regulation of the sale of alcohol in Vermont is comprehensive. The liquor control statutes prohibit the import......
  • In re Rusty Nail Acquisition, Inc., No. 08-338.
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • June 26, 2009
    ...their establishments, which are places where intoxicated people may pose a threat to themselves and to public safety. See In re DLC Corp., 167 Vt. 544, 548, 712 A.2d 389, 392 (1998) (pointing out that the State may "permit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor under such cond......

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