What Happens if the Licensing Board Doesn’t Approve My Application?

If your application for a liquor license came back, disapproved, there are steps that you can take to try and reverse the negative decision.

You have four main options: Reconsideration, a disapproval hearing, an Article 78 proceeding in the Supreme Court, and reapplying with modifications to the proposed licensed establishment. You may choose one, but not all. The first is the easiest and cheapest, but is only appropriate in situations where the facts aren’t at issue and there was an arguably improper exercise of discretion in the case and there is room to persuade the Full Board to change their original decision.

  1. Reconsideration: Reconsideration will include not only a review of whether the disapproval is supported by the law and the facts, but also whether there are other compelling reasons to rescind the disapproval and re-open the application for further review. The written Request for Reconsideration should include reasons why the members should conduct a new review of the application. The Request for Reconsideration will be scheduled for a Full Board meeting and the applicant will appear to present its case and answer questions from the Full Board
  1. Disapproval Hearing: At a disapproval hearing, an Administrative Law Judge will consider whether the record before the Members of the Authority supports the decision that was made at the Full Board meeting. The judge will then issue a report to the Members recommending that either the original disapproval be upheld or that it be vacated and the application be reopened. The matter would be scheduled for a Full Board meeting for the Members to make a final decision. This is more appropriate in serious situations. It is a more extensive and expensive path but necessary in some situations.
  1. Article 78 Proceeding: This is a lawsuit in a Supreme Court asking a judge to order the State Liquor Authority to rescind the decision and re-open the application. This is appropriate when a third party intervention is necessary because there is little chance the Members of the Full Board will change their position. This is an expensive option and the process could take from several months to as much as two years to resolve.

The final option is to simply re-apply and include more information that addresses the concerns of the Authority and makes some changes in the proposed structure or operations to hopefully obtain a better outcome. This is not always successful but may be a more affordable path than a disapproval hearing.

If you have been denied, contact our team for a review of your application and denial. We can discuss strategies and options, or give you an honest assessment of your chances. We will advocate for you and put your case in the best position for success.