State Beverage Dept. v. Ernal, Inc.

Decision Date12 November 1959
Docket NumberNo. 59-220,59-220
Citation115 So.2d 566
PartiesSTATE BEVERAGE DEPARTMENT of Florida, and H. G. Cochrane, Jr., Director of State Beverage Department of Florida, Petitioners, v. ERNAL, INC., a Florida corporation, d/b/a Liberty City Amusement Park, Respondent.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

John G. Hodges, Tampa, Paul A. Louis and Bertha L. Freidus, Miami, for petitioners.

Okell & Okell, Miami, for respondent.

CARROLL, CHAS., Judge.

The respondent, Ernal, Inc., a Florida corporation, doing business as Liberty City Amusement Park, was proceeded against by the State Beverage Department of Florida, under § 561.29, Fla.Stat., F.S.A., for revocation or suspension of its liquor license. Essentially respondent was accused of selling whiskey during prohibited hours on Sunday, June 9, 1957, and with permitting consumption of whiskey or gin on the premises on the same Sunday; in violation of § 562.14, Fla.Stat., F.S.A. The licensee sought relief from an order of suspension entered by the director of the state beverage department, by filing a petition for certiorari in the circuit court. Upon hearing the matter, that court granted certiorari and quashed the director's suspension order. The state beverage department and its director then filed their petition for certiorari in this court, by which we are asked to review the circuit court's order.

The petitioners here argue that the circuit court, acting in its appellate capacity on review of the commission's order, departed from essential requirements of law by misapplying the law with reference to the proof necessary to support the findings in the director's order. In that contention the petitioners must be upheld.

On the review of the director's order by the circuit court, a material consideration was whether there was before him competent substantial evidence to support his findings and order. The circuit court on such review was not free to weigh or evaluate the evidence which had been presented to the director, but that court was charged with the duty to examine the record and determine whether the director's order was in accord with the essential requirements of law and whether the director had before him competent substantial evidence to support his findings and conclusions. De Groot v. Sheffield, Fla.1957, 95 So.2d 912, 916; Florida Rate Conference v. Florida Railroad and P. U. Com'n, Fla.1959, 108 So.2d 601, 606.

We take due note of the restrictions placed upon the scope of review by the Supreme Court or by this appellate court of such an order of the circuit court. By writ of certiorari here we are not authorized to review the circuit court judgment as on appeal, but only to determine whether its order 'is illegal or is essentially irregular or prejudicial and materially harmful to the party duly complaining' by a departure from essential requirements of law. Mutual Ben. Health & Accident Ass'n v. Bunting, 133 Fla. 646, 183 So. 321, 325. Accord, Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York v. Johnson, 122 Fla. 567, 166 So. 442; Police & Firemen's Ins. Ass'n v. Hines, 134 Fla. 298, 183 So. 831; Wolkowsky v. Goodkind, 153 Fla. 267, 14 So.2d 398. The rule that this court, on such a certiorari proceeding, will not consider the sufficiency of the evidence, or the weight and probative force of conflicting testimony, is subject to the exception that the evidence which was before the agency will be reviewed to determine whether the findings and conclusions of that body are supported by competent substantial evidence, when it is made to appear 'that the circuit court adopted and enforced a wrong view of the law in reviewing the case on the evidence and that it applied such wrong rule of law to its own appellate consideration and weighing of the evidence.' Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York v. Johnson, supra, 166 So. at page 444.

The exception just mentioned is applicable in this instance, because the judgment on review shows that the circuit court did not determine the matter on the basis of the presence or absence of competent, substantial evidence to support the director's order, but proceeded to re-weigh and reevaluate the evidence and conflicting testimony. The order of the circuit court included the following:

'The suspension order was based on a finding by the director as follows:

"* * * that on Sunday, June 9, 1957, about 11:10 A. M., at the licensed premises, the president, Murray Blane, made three or four sales of package whiskey, during the hours said sales were prohibited by law, in violation of Section 562.14, Florida Statutes; that on Sunday, June 9, 1957, about 11:10 A. M., at the licensed premises, about 35 persons at...

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19 cases
  • Groves-Watkins Constructors v. State, Dept. of Transp.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 11, 1987
    ...inferences from the evidence, and reach ultimate findings of fact based on competent, substantial evidence. State Beverage Department v. Ernal, Inc., 115 So.2d 566 (Fla. 3d DCA 1959). If, as is often the case, the evidence presented supports two inconsistent findings, it is the hearing offi......
  • Uniweld Products, Inc. v. Industrial Relations Commission, Florida Dept. of Commerce, Tallahassee
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 23, 1973
    ...lower tribunal was supported by competent substantial evidence. DeGroot v. Sheffield, Fla.1957, 95 So.2d 912; State Beverage Department v. Ernal, Inc., Fla.App.1959, 115 So.2d 566. See also Westerman v. Shell's City, Inc., Fla.1972, 265 So.2d 43. Where, for example, the order of the lower t......
  • Heifetz v. Department of Business Regulation, Div. of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco, AX-443
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 13, 1985
    ...inferences from the evidence, and reach ultimate findings of fact based on competent, substantial evidence. State Beverage Department v. Ernal, Inc., 115 So.2d 566 (Fla. 3d DCA 1959). If, as is often the case, the evidence presented supports two inconsistent findings, it is the hearing offi......
  • Life Bar & Package Store, Inc. v. State Beverage Dept.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 27, 1965
    ...by substantial competent evidence in the record to come within the rationale of Judge Charles Carroll in State Beverage Department v. Ernal, Inc., Fla.App.1959, 115 So.2d 566, which 'We have examined the testimony which was presented before the director. There was, as indicated by the circu......
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