Office of Administrative Law Judge
The Office of Administrative Law Judge (OALJ), was established in 1987 with the passage of Act 14 of 1987. The Office is autonomous from the Liquor Control Board (Board). The judges preside over citations brought by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement against Board Licensees.
A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is similar to one held in a civil or criminal court. Because there is no jury, the Administrative Law Judge determines facts and applies law, including constitutional principles, such as due process and rules of evidence. The hearing is an adversarial process in which the Bureau carries the burden of proving a violation by a preponderance of the evidence. Testimony is taken under oath. Both the Bureau and the Licensee may call witnesses who are subject to questioning by both parties. The proceeding is recorded and transcribed. After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge is required to prepare a formal document, called an Adjudication, in which the Administrative Law Judge enters findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Administrative Law Judge may also include a discussion of the case and impose a penalty, where a violation has been found.
A Licensee who is cited by the Bureau may choose to submit a waiver, thereby admitting to the violation(s) charged, giving up the right to appeal, and allowing the Administrative Law Judge to issue an Adjudication without a hearing. Even when a waiver is submitted, the Administrative Law Judge must still analyze the information submitted by the parties and prepare an Adjudication.
Adjudications issued after September 15, 1997, are provided to assist those who practice before the OALJ, as the result of non-stipulated hearings as well as those adjudications of state-wide significance are available for review. Be advised however that the adjudications set forth do not represent the entire body of Pa. Liquor Law or subsequent Board and/or Court action involving a citation.
OALJ Petitions Various petitions are provided in electronic format for filing with regard to the citation process. Please click on the link below and follow the provided instructions.
Directions to ALJ Offices:
Chief ALJ & Harrisburg District Office
2221 Paxton Church Rd
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Pittsburgh District Office
Parkway Center Dr S
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Philadelphia District Office
140 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
If you have any questions or comments email us at ra-lbChiefALJ@pa.gov