A remonstrance is the opportunity for the general public to voice its formal objection to either a new liquor permit application or the renewal of an existing liquor permit within its town.
To trigger the process, any ten residents of the town who are at least 18 years of age, must file, in writing, with the Department of Consumer Protection, an objection to the application for an initial permit or the renewal of an existing permit. The ten residents must live in the town in which the proposed or existing permit location is located. For new applications, the public is made aware of the application by way of public announcement in the local newspaper as well as the mandatory placard that is posted outside the premises during the application process.
For renewal applications, there is no public notice; however liquor permits renew annually and an objection to the renewal can be filed with the Department at any time, but at least 21 days prior to the permit renewal date.
The remonstrance petition, naming the proposed permittee or location, should be submitted to:
The remonstrance petition must include the residents’ names, home addresses, ages and telephone numbers, and must designate an agent for service who will be notified of the hearing date. Each page containing signatures must state 1) the location and 2) reasons for the objections.
By filing an objection with the Department, a formal hearing will be scheduled. The person who has been designated as the “agent” for the remonstrants will be notified of the hearing date. At that formal hearing where testimony will be taken under oath, remonstrants will have the opportunity to voice their objections as to the suitability of the applicant or proposed place of business before the Department of Consumer Protection's Liquor Control Commission. The Liquor Control Commission will issue a written formal decision on the remonstrance. At any time prior to the issuance of the decision, a remonstrance may be withdrawn by the remonstrants or by such agent or agents acting on their behalf. At that point, the Department may cancel the hearing or withdraw the case.
Under current law, except in the case of grocery beer applications, the Department of Consumer Protection may, in its discretion, revoke or refuse to grant or renew a permit for the sale of alcoholic liquor if it has reasonable cause to believe:
- That the proximity of the permit premises will have a detrimental effect upon any church, public or parochial school, convent, charitable institution, whether supported by private or public funds, hospital or veterans’ home or any camp, barracks or flying field of the armed forces;
- That such location is in such proximity to a no-permit town that it is apparent that the applicant is seeking to obtain the patronage of such town;
- That the number of permit premises in the locality is such that the granting of a permit is detrimental to the public interest, and, in reaching a conclusion in this respect, the department may consider the character of, the population of, the number of like permits and number of all permits existing in, the particular town and the immediate neighborhood concerned, the effect which a new permit may have on such town or neighborhood or on like permits existing in such town or neighborhood;
- That the place has been conducted as a lewd or disorderly establishment;
- That the backer does not have a right to occupy the permit premises;
- That drive-up sales of alcoholic liquor are being made at the permit premises:
- That there is any other reason as provided by state or federal law or regulation which warrants such refusal.
For more information regarding the remonstrance process, please contact the Liquor Control Division at 860-713-6210.