What do I need to do if I need a continuance before a hearing?
Please make continuance requests as soon as you are aware of the conflict, and no later than seven working days prior to the hearing. Continuances will be granted only upon a showing of good cause. If a continuance request is made less than seven working days before the hearing, extenuating circumstances that could not be foreseen must be shown. Requests may be made by faxing a written request to the attention of Robert L. Scott, Jr. at (804) 213-4731.
Are there alternatives to the disciplinary hearing process?
One of two settlement options may eliminate the need for a hearing in disciplinary cases: consent settlements and offers in compromise.
What is a consent settlement?
A consent settlement is a settlement offer initiated by Virginia ABC. The chief hearing officer initiates a consent settlement in writing. The licensee admits the alleged violation(s) and accepts a monetary penalty and/or suspension of the ABC license. The licensee thus waives the right to a hearing and an appeal. All settlements must be approved by the ABC Board.
What is an offer-in-compromise?
An offer-in-compromise is a settlement offer initiated by a licensee or attorney. The licensee initiates an offer-in-compromise by admitting to the alleged violation(s) and proposing a monetary penalty and/or suspension of the ABC license in a written proposal submitted directly to the ABC Board in Richmond. The Board will either accept or reject the offer. If it is rejected, the licensee may submit a second offer to the ABC Board, or appear at the hearing on the appointed date. If you have any questions about offers-in-compromise, please contact Pam Boggs at (804) 213-4451.
Where is the hearing held?
A hearing officer conducts the hearing in or near the locality in which the licensee's or applicant's business is located. The hearing is usually held at a Virginia ABC regional office.
How will I be notified of the hearing?
You will be afforded reasonable notice of a pending hearing stating the time, place and issues involved. (3 VAC 5-10-140)
Do I need a lawyer at the hearing?
Parties may be represented by an attorney, but that is not required. If you intend to retain a lawyer, please do so as soon as possible after you are notified of the violation. You may have your lawyer contact Robert L. Scott, Jr., at (804) 213-4447 by faxed letter to (804) 213-4731.
What is the role of the hearing officer at the hearing?
The hearing officer conducts the hearing in a fair and impartial manner while assuring that all relevant and material information is presented in order to make a reasoned decision.
What evidence can be presented at the hearing?
All evidence pertaining to the objections/charges should be presented. Each interested party will have the opportunity to question witnesses, present evidence and offer argument in support of his/her case.
Are witnesses sworn in?
All witnesses testify under oath.
Is the hearing documented?
The hearing is recorded word-for-word by a hearing reporter.
Who can attend the hearing?
ABC hearings are open to the public.
How do I find out about the decision of the hearing officer?
After the hearing, the hearing officer will mail the involved parties a written report detailing the decision. This is called an initial decision.
Can I appeal the initial decision of the hearing officer?
Yes. The party interested in appealing the case must submit a letter to the ABC Board or the chief hearing officer within thirty days after the mailing date of the decision.
Who can appeal the decision of the hearing officer?
An applicant, licensee or other interested party can appeal the decision of the hearing officer to the ABC Board.
Where will the appeal hearing be held?
The ABC Board will hear the case at the Virginia ABC Central Office at 2901 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Virginia 23220.
What type of evidence can be presented at an appeal hearing?
None, unless the ABC Board grants a motion to take additional evidence. Such a motion should be submitted for a ruling by the Board prior to the appeal hearing. The parties may argue their position based on evidence introduced previously at the hearing conducted by the hearing officer.
Are the decisions of the ABC Board final?
Yes, but the ABC Board's decisions may be appealed to the local circuit court and beyond that to the Court of Appeals of Virginia.