Hayes Properties-Newington LLC v. Department of Consumer Protection
A limited liability company that files an objection with 13 signatures to the issuance of a liquor permit may not be entitled to a hearing, if five of the signers withdraw support for the objection. On Aug. 4, 2011, the plaintiff limited liability company filed a "remonstrance" with 10 signatures, to object to the Division of Liquor Control's issuance of a permit to Falgun Bhatt. On August 8, a paralegal reviewed the "remonstrance" and called the plaintiff's attorney, to explain it failed to meet department requirements that pages that contain signatures indicate the location and the reason for the objection. Prior to midnight that day, the plaintiff's attorney filed an amended "remonstrance" with 13 signatures. The permittee's backer wrote to each individual who signed and claimed that the signers maliciously interfered with his client's business opportunity. Five of the signers wrote to the Division of Liquor Control or to the permittee's backer and indicated that they had been misinformed, and that they withdrew their signatures. The eight signatures that remained did not meet the statutory minimum of 10 signatures. The Division of Liquor Control did not hold a hearing to consider the objection to the liquor permit. The plaintiff's attorney appealed and argued that the paralegal wrongly concluded that the original remonstrance, which was not withdrawn, was not valid. The court found that the plaintiff's attorney withdrew the original remonstrance. The operative objection was the second one. The plaintiff limited liability company lacked the right to a hearing, after five signatures were withdrawn from the second objection. The court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss.