Maine Revised Statutes

§803. Revocation or suspension procedure

1. Violation of law or rule.  Upon discovering a violation of federal or state law, rule or regulation relating to liquor, or an infraction of a rule adopted by the bureau, the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall:
A. Report the violation to the District Court Judge in a signed complaint; or [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
B. Issue warnings to the licensees involved. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW).]
[ 2003, c. 451, Pt. T, §12 (AMD) .]
2. Notice and hearing.  Except as provided under subsection 6, upon receipt of a signed complaint prepared under subsection 1, paragraph A, notice must be provided and a hearing must be held according to the following procedures.
A. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall notify the licensee or the licensee's agent or employee by serving on the licensee or the licensee's agent or employee a copy of the complaint and a notice stating the time and place of the hearing and that the licensee or the licensee's agent or employee may appear in person or by counsel at the hearing. Service of the complaint and hearing notice upon the licensee is sufficient when served in hand by the commissioner's designee or when sent by registered or certified mail at least 7 days before the date of the hearing to the address given by the licensee at the time of the licensee's application for a license. Service of the complaint and hearing notice upon a licensee's agent or employee is sufficient when served in hand by the commissioner’s designee or when sent by registered or certified mail at least 7 days before the date of the hearing to the address given by the agent or employee at the time the agent or employee was initially notified by the bureau of the violation. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall file proof of service with the District Court. [2009, c. 199, §7 (AMD).]
B. The District Court shall conduct a hearing limited to the facts, the law and rules of the bureau, as specified in the complaint. [2009, c. 199, §7 (AMD).]
C. The District Court shall conduct the hearing in the following manner.
(1) The District Court may administer oaths to witnesses and issue subpoenas at the request of any party, including subpoenas to compel the attendance of parents and legal guardians of unemancipated minors.
(a) The bureau shall pay to the witnesses the legal fees for travel and attendance, except that, notwithstanding Title 16, section 253, the bureau is not required to pay the fees before the travel and attendance occur.
(2) Hearsay testimony is not admissible during the hearing. The licensees, agents or employees named in the complaint have the right to have all witnesses testify in person at the hearing.
(3) The District Court shall conduct hearings in one or more designated places that are the most convenient and economical for all parties concerned in the hearing. [2009, c. 199, §7 (AMD).]
D. The District Court shall  render a decision in each case, based upon the facts, the law and the rules of the bureau. The findings must specify the facts found and the law or rules found to be violated. [2009, c. 199, §7 (AMD).]
[ 2009, c. 199, §7 (AMD) .]
2-A. Suspension or revocation decision. 
[ 2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §31 (RP) .]
3. Suspension of penalty; place case on file.  After hearing, the District Court Judge may:
A. Suspend a penalty; or [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW).]
B. Place a case on file instead of imposing any penalty. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW).]
[ 1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF) .]
4. Application of suspension or revocation.  A suspension or revocation applies to premises and persons in the following manner.
A. If a licensee is directly or indirectly interested in more than one license, suspensions apply only to the premise where the violation occurs. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW).]
B. If a licensee is interested directly or indirectly in more than one license, the District Court Judge may order that a revocation apply to any of those premises. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
C. If the licensee is a corporation, the District Court Judge shall treat the officers, directors and substantial stockholders as individuals. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
[ 1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF) .]
5. Term of suspension or revocation.  Except as provided by section 802, subsection 3, suspensions must be for a definite period of time. If the District Court Judge revokes a license, the District Court Judge shall specify that the bureau may not issue a license to the person whose license is revoked for a period of not less than one nor more than 5 years from the date of revocation.
[ 1997, c. 373, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF) .]
6. Warnings.  Upon the written recommendation of the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, the District Court Judge, instead of notifying a licensee against whom a complaint is pending to appear for hearing, may send the licensee a warning. Warnings must be sent by registered or certified mail and contain a copy of the complaint. A licensee to whom a warning is sent may demand a hearing by notifying the District Court Judge by registered or certified mail within 10 days from the date the warning was mailed.
[ 2003, c. 451, Pt. T, §13 (AMD) .]
7. License subsequent to violation.  If violations by licensees occur in one year's license period and remain undiscovered or carry over into the next license year, pending investigation or final disposition either in criminal courts or before the District Court Judge, any license issued for a new license year subsequent to the violation may be suspended or revoked by the District Court Judge.
[ 1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF) .]
8. Fines.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Title, the District Court Judge may impose a fine of a specific sum on a licensee or the licensee's agent or employee, of not less than $50 nor more than $1,500, for any one offense. Such a fine may be imposed instead of or in addition to any suspension or revocation of a license by the court.
A. The District Court Judge shall maintain a record of all fines received by the court and shall pay the fines into the General Fund by the 15th day of each month. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
[ 2009, c. 199, §8 (AMD) .]
9. Offer in compromise.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Title, the District Court Judge may accept from any wholesale licensee or certificate of approval holder under this Title an offer in compromise in lieu of suspension of any wholesale license or certificate of approval suspended by the District Court Judge.
A. A wholesale licensee or certificate of approval holder may petition the District Court Judge to accept an offer in compromise within 10 days following receipt of notice of the suspension. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
B. The fine in lieu of suspension, when an offer in compromise is accepted by the District Court Judge, shall be calculated in accordance with the following formula:
(1) Fifty percent of the daily gross profit multiplied by the number of license suspension days. Daily gross profit shall be determined to be 1/30 of the total gross receipts from the sale of liquor during the 30 business days immediately before the date of receipt of the notice of the license suspension, less the invoice cost of the liquor which was sold by the wholesale licensee or certificate of approval holder during those 30 business days;
(2) No such fine, in any event, shall be less than $75 for each day of license suspension; and
(3) The fine must not exceed $1,500 for any one offense. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
C. The wholesale licensee or certificate of approval holder shall pay the fine to the District Court within 5 days from the date of the acceptance of the offer in compromise. The District Court Judge shall then pay the fine into the General Fund. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF).]
D. If a wholesale licensee or certificate of approval holder fails to pay the fine in full within the time period allowed in this subsection, the suspension of license or certificate of approval begins on the following day. [1987, c. 45, Pt. A, §4 (NEW).]
[ 1987, c. 342, §55 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §78 (AMD); 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §80 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 45, §A4 (NEW). 1987, c. 342, §§51-55 (AMD). 1997, c. 373, §§76-79 (AMD). 1999, c. 547, §B78 (AMD). 1999, c. 547, §B80 (AFF). 2003, c. 451, §§T12,13 (AMD). 2009, c. 199, §§7, 8 (AMD). 2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §31 (AMD).

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