Kirn, Inc. v. Township Committee of the Township of Green Brook

OAL Docket No. ABC 921-98 (Alcohol Beverage Control 1998)
  • Opinion Date: December 4, 1998

NOTICE; ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES—If credible evidence establishes that a liquor license application was timely mailed, it is not important that the mailing never reached the authority.

Under normal circumstances, the latest time for a liquor licensee to apply for a liquor license renewal with a municipality is July 30. In this case, the municipality showed no record of ever having received a particular renewal application and, by resolution, determined that the particular license had lapsed for failure to be renewed within the time allowed by law. Prior to the deadline, the license holder had several discussions with the municipality’s clerk and a discussion with an attorney assigned to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The license holder’s testimony was that on July 1 of the year in question, he filled out the application and went to a particular bank to have it notarized and copied. He testified that he then went to the post office and obtained money orders for the applicable fees. While there, he mailed the application and fees to the municipality’s clerk’s office in a first class envelope. According to his testimony, the post office weighed the mailing and affixed the postage, but he did not ask for a mailing receipt and was unable to locate copies of the money orders. The administrative law judge found the license holder’s testimony to be credible in establishing that, in sufficient time, he had the notarized license renewal application placed in the first class mail together with money orders for the appropriate fees. Having found that evidence to be credible, it was not important that the mailing never reached the municipality. Consequently, the administrative law judge concluded that the municipality would have to act on a renewal application as if it actually been received in a timely matter. The licence holder, however, remained responsible for payment of the appropriate fees.