Index of Terms

Index of Common Terms of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Nuisance Bar Program

Action to Enjoin (611) - This is a formal legal action to declare a location a public nuisance.  It is filed by the District Attorney of a county, the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement of the Pennsylvania State Police and/or the municipality in the Court of Common Pleas in accordance with the provision of Section 611 of the Liquor Code.  After a formal hearing the Common Pleas Judge may issue an order of padlock of the establishment.

Amusement Permit - A general authority required by a retail licensee to permit dancing, singing, and live entertainment. Local zoning would supersede the PA Liquor Code in permitting certain types of entertainment, and any other type of local permits [Section 493 (10), 493.1 and Title 40, 5.32 (g)].

Board - The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is comprised of a three-member Board appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate.  Each serve a 4 year term in a staggered rotation.  Two of the Board members are usually members of the majority political party (governor) with one appointed chairman.  One of the Board members must be a member of the minority party.

Citation - An administrative action (averment) brought by the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, against a licensee for violation of the PA Liquor Code or Title 40 PA Code (regulations).  This action is adjudicated through the Office of Administrative Law Judge.

Commonwealth Court - A state level court of appeals which reviews the decisions of the county court (Common Pleas).  Also, a writ of mandamus on an action may be brought in this jurisdiction.

Court of Common Pleas - This is a county level court which hears appeals of decisions of the Office of Administrative Law Judge, if sustained by the Board.  This court also hears appeals of decisions of the Board in matters of a nuisance bar refusal of a renewal or a decision related to a licensing transaction, such as a refusal to issue a new license or transfer a license.

Office of Administrative Law Judge - An autonomous arm of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board created by the legislature under Act 14 of 1987.  This office is staffed by administrative law judges who hold administrative hearings and issue decisions, orders, and opinions in actions brought by the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, for violations of the Liquor Code by licensees of the Board.

The judges may impose penalties which include a fine, suspension of a license, or revocation of a license. 

A decision of the Administrative Law Judge may be appealed to the Board by the licensee or the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.  Appeal of the Board’s decision can be filed with the Court of Common Pleas in the county which has jurisdiction over the licensee.

Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) - A civilian contingent of officers who enforce the statutory and regulatory requirements of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code.  Their police powers are limited to arrests associated with violations of the Liquor Code and the bringing of administrative citation actions against licensees.  In addition, these enforcement officers have certain police powers related to the conduct of activities associated with the licensed establishment, excluding drug arrest powers.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court - This is the highest appeals court in the state.  The petition for an appeal must be filed.  The court decides what case(s) to hear.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Nuisance Bar Program, contact:
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
Bureau of Licensing
Attn:  Nuisance Bar Task Force
Room 109, Northwest Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17124-0001
Tel: (717) 772-3516
Fax: (717) 783-4295
Email:
ra-lbnuisance@pa.gov