1616 Second Avenue v. State Liquor Authority

New York Court of Appeals

550 N.E.2d 910 (N.Y. 1990)

Failure to disqualify an administrative official from reviewing an adjudicatory proceeding violates due process where the official makes public statements that indicate prejudgment of specific facts at issue on review.

Relevant Facts

1616 Second Avenue (the plaintiff) operated a restaurant that sold alcohol on its premises pursuant to a license issued by the New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) (the defendant). The NYSLA charged the plaintiff with selling alcohol to underage patrons. After a hearing, an administrative law judge sustained some of the charges. The plaintiff challenged the findings and scheduled a review hearing. Before the hearing took place, the chairman of the NYSLA testified before the New York State Senate and stated that they were compiling a record to prove that the plaintiff had in fact sold alcohol to underage patrons. Subsequently, the plaintiff requested the chairman to recuse himself, and the chairman refused to do so. At the review hearing, the findings of the administrative law judge were adopted, and the plaintiff filed to annul the NYSLA’s determination. The matter was transferred to the Appellate Division, which affirmed the determination of the administrative law judge. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the failure to disqualify the chairman after making public statements that prejudged specific facts at issue constituted a violation of due process.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 1, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

550 N.E.2d 910 (N.Y. 1990)