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Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board

145 P.3d 462 (2006)

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Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board

California Supreme Court

145 P.3d 462 (2006)

Facts

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (the department) (plaintiff) had exclusive licensing authority over entities selling alcoholic beverages. The process for adjudicating whether licensees violated the terms of their licenses occurred in two stages. In the first stage, a department prosecutor and the licensee presented their respective cases to an administrative law judge (ALJ) at an evidentiary hearing. In the second stage, the department director decided whether to adopt the ALJ’s proposed decision. The department’s prosecutors sought to suspend the license of Daniel Quintanar (defendant) for serving obviously intoxicated persons. The ALJ found in favor of Quintanar. Consistent with department procedure, the prosecutor prepared a report of hearing, consisting of a summary of the evidentiary hearing and the recommended resolution, which he then provided ex parte to the director. The director rejected the ALJ’s proposed decision and suspended Quintanar’s license. A separate body, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board (the board), reversed the director’s decision. The court of appeal affirmed the board’s decision. The department appealed to the California Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Werdegar, J.)

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