Hearings and Due Process

Reference Number: 

While no one has a right to a beer permit in the first instance, once a permit has been issued it becomes a valuable property right which is protected under the state and federal constitutions and a permit holder must be afforded due process with respect to deprivation of the privilege granted by the permit. Due process is a flexible standard, calling for the procedural protections that the particular situation demands. In general, the factors to be considered are: (1) the nature and importance of the private interest at stake, (2) the risk of erroneous deprivation of the interest and the probable value of additional safeguards, and (3) the governmental interest, including any additional burdens that procedural safeguards might entail. A beer permit is a very important interest because a person’s livelihood may depend upon it. A permit holder is entitled to notice and an opportunity to be heard that is reasonable under the circumstances. Attorney General Opinion 94-064 (4/28/94).

The due process requirements may extend to persons other than the permit holder. The Attorney General has opined that the statute which prohibits the issuance of a beer permit for one year on premises where a permit has been revoked could be unconstitutional in application if the property owner is different from the permit holder and the property owner is not given an opportunity to show that he or she was innocent of wrongdoing and had taken all action which reasonably could be expected to prevent the violation. Attorney General Opinion 90-77 (8/13/90).