The Hearings, Appeals and Judicial Services Division is located in the ABC Central Office in Richmond, Virginia. Hearings officers and court reporters travel throughout the entire state of Virginia to conduct hearings on matters brought to the ABC Board for resolution.
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Below are definitions of key hearings-related terms. See our frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about hearings.
It is the policy of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, in compliance with statute and regulation, to provide and conduct hearings for any interested party concerning any application for ABC license or disciplinary proceeding. It is the policy of the Board and the Department to conduct a full, fair and impartial hearing in an orderly manner according to due process standards.
Three different actions generally generate the need for an ABC hearing:
- Disciplinary Hearing:
- Conducted about violations by a licensee
- Conducted to seek approval of a licensee's designated manager
- Conducted to approve an area for exercise of the licensee privilege
- Contested Application Hearing to grant an ABC license or permit
- Beer and Wine Franchise Act Hearing involving wholesale licensees
Hearings and Appeals Terms
These are terms used throughout the website and Hearings and Appeals FAQ's.
Consent Settlement - This is an alternate method of resolving a violation by a licensee, usually resulting in a suspension of a license and/or payments of a civil (monetary) penalty. The Hearings and Appeals Division initiates a consent settlement under the authority and approval of the chief hearing officer. Any consent settlement must consider the public interests, conform to statutory and regulatory guidelines, and be approved by the Board to be final. Suggested Penalties for First Offenses
Continuance - A continuance is a request by one of the parties to a case to delay a scheduled hearing to another time. Continuances will be granted on a reasonable basis with showing of good cause to the chief hearing officer. Requests may be mailed or faxed to the Hearings and Appeals Division in Richmond (Fax: 804 213-4731). Consideration is given to the timeliness of the request and to any objection by other interested parties. Some examples of good cause include:
- Prior commitment of interested parties or counsel
- Unavailability of material witnesses
- Additional time needed to prepare for the hearing
- An opportunity to retain an attorney
Hearing - Administrative process regarding an ABC license, application for a license or permit, or violation of state ABC statutes or regulations conducted before an administrative law judge. The matters generally are concerning an alleged violation, complaint or contested application.
Hearing Officer - An administrative law judge employed by the Department to preside over and conduct hearings.
Informal Conference - The portion of an administrative hearing to review the nature of the charges or objections, consider motions and resolve questions. These conferences are conducted off the record; however, all decisions made or agreements reached in such conferences will be made a part of the record.
Interested Party - The applicant for a license, the licensee or any person who would be aggrieved by a decision of the Board.
Offers in Compromise - This is an alternate method of resolving a violation by a licensee, usually resulting in a suspension of a license and/or payments of a civil (monetary) penalty. The licensee initiates the offer in compromise. Any offer in compromise must consider the public interests, conform to statutory and regulatory guidelines, and be approved by the Board to be final.