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Sheppard v. Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

November 5, 2014

LOUIS A. SHEPPARD, APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD, APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION. NO. CV-13-1269. HONORABLE TIMOTHY DAVIS FOX, JUDGE.

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., by: Kevin M. Lemley, for appellant.

Mary Robin Casteel, Arkansas Alcholic Beverage Control Administration, for appellee.

JOHN MAUZY PITTMAN, Judge. GLADWIN, C.J., agrees. WYNNE, J., concurs.

OPINION

Page 615

JOHN MAUZY PITTMAN, Judge

Louis A. Sheppard appeals the decision of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (the " Board" ), which cancelled his conditionally granted application for A permit to operate a retail liquor store. He raises several points on appeal, and after considering each of his arguments, we affirm the decision of the Board.

In November 2010, the people of Clark County, Arkansas, voted to allow alcohol sales. After this vote, the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board began accepting applications for retail liquor-store permits. Sheppard applied for a permit, and the Board conditionally granted his application on October 16, 2011.

The approval of Sheppard's permit was conditioned upon several modifications to the premises where he intended to do business. The conditions required the remodeling of the building, the installation of a fire-exit light and telephone, and re-inspection of the premises. Alcoholic Beverage Control Division Rules and Regulations section 1.35 requires that any conditions attached to the granting of a permit be met within twelve months or the application will be cancelled. Sheppard was allowed two extensions to this twelve-month deadline, and he was given until December 31, 2012, to meet the conditions imposed by the Board.

On December 31, 2012, Sheppard notified the Board that he was ready for a final inspection. Seletia Smith, an inspection agent for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, inspected the premises on January 2, 2013, and found that there was a restaurant buffet in the center of the store, and that the premises lacked a telephone and shelving units. She returned several days later, and a telephone had been installed. However, the buffet server remained in the middle of the store, shelving units were not installed, and portions of the building were partitioned off with plastic sheeting.

In the meantime, the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, Michael Langley, received a letter from Charles Singleton[1] on January 3, 2013. In the correspondence, Singleton asked that Sheppard's conditionally granted application be rescinded because of false material statements in his application and the delay in opening the business. On January 16,

Page 616

2013, Langley advised the Board of the correspondence, and the Board determined that it would hold a hearing on February 20, 2013, to review the information received.

The Board held an administrative hearing, and at its conclusion, it voted to terminate Sheppard's conditionally granted permit because of the delay in opening the liquor store and false material statements in his application. Sheppard appealed the Board's decision to the Pulaski County Circuit Court, ...


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