Hearings and Appeals under the Liquor Licence Act
On July 1, 2011, pursuant to the Good Government Act, 2011, responsibility for the adjudication of liquor matters under the Liquor Licence Act was transferred from the Board of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). LAT is an adjudicative agency of the government of Ontario which adjudicates matters involving licensing activities regulated by various Ministries.
Individuals or businesses who are applying for a licence, or are licensed, under the Liquor Licence Act and who dispute a Notice of Proposal (NOP) or an Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP) issued by the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming (the Registrar) to refuse the application or to suspend or revoke the licence may appeal the proposal or order to LAT.
If you receive an NOP or OMP and wish to request a hearing/appeal, you have fifteen (15) days to submit a written request for a hearing/appeal to LAT. For more information about requesting a hearing/appeal, as well as any fees LAT may require, please visit the LAT website at www.lat.gov.on.ca
If the Board of the AGCO started a hearing on or before June 30, 2011, it was seized of the matter and will see it through to completion.
Notice of Proposal
If the Registrar proposes to refuse, revoke or suspend a licence, the Registrar must serve a Notice of Proposal (NOP) on the applicant/licensee outlining the reasons for the proposed action.
Applicants/licensees who dispute an NOP issued by the Registrar may appeal the proposal. If you receive an NOP and wish to request a hearing, you have fifteen (15) days to appeal to LAT (www.lat.gov.on.ca). If an appeal is not received within fifteen (15) days, the Registrar will carry out the proposed action and/or a final Order will be issued.
In a situation where there are serious violations alleged such that it is in the public interest not to allow a licensee to continue to sell or serve alcohol, the Registrar may issue an interim suspension of a liquor licence. An interim suspension takes effect immediately. The interim suspension remains in effect for up to fifteen (15) days following the receipt of LAT's Notice of Appeal. LAT Tribunal members, at a hearing of that appeal within those fifteen (15) days, may extend or rescind the interim suspension.
The Registrar´s Legal Counsel is available to address issues related to settlement, disclosure or narrowing the issues prior to a hearing/appeal. Please contact Registrar´s Legal Counsel, by phone at 416-326-5531, or by fax at 416-326-5574.
Order of Monetary Penalty
If the Registrar issues an Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP), the Registrar must serve the OMP on the licensee which includes the allegation(s) plus details of the alleged infraction(s) in the Order. Licensees who dispute an OMP issued by the Registrar may appeal the Order. If you receive an OMP and wish to request an appeal, you have fifteen (15) days to submit a written request for an appeal to LAT (www.lat.gov.on.ca). If an Appeal of the Monetary Penalty is not received within fifteen (15) days, the OMP will be enforced as imposed by the Registrar. The OMP is a legal Order and non-payment may result in further action being taken against your licence.
The Registrar is always represented by experienced legal counsel or occasionally by a student-at-law supervised by experienced legal counsel. The Registrar´s Legal Counsel can be contacted by phone at 416-326-5531 or by fax at 416-326-5574.
While you are not required to have a representative in the hearing/appeal, you should think carefully before deciding to represent yourself. A hearing/appeal is a quasi-judicial process very similar to appearing in a court. The Member(s) of the LAT Tribunal hearing the case must remain neutral and cannot help you present your evidence or give you advice. You are expected to know and follow LAT's Rules of Practice. Ask yourself whether you will be comfortable enough with the process and issues in dispute to be a good advocate on your own behalf. If you do decide to represent yourself, consider consulting a representative before the hearing for advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your case and how to best present it to the Board.
If you do not have a representative, you can contact the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) of the Law Society of Upper Canada at 416-947-3330 or 1-900-565-4577. LRS will provide the name of a lawyer in your area who will give you a free half hour consultation. A $6.00 fee for the referral is charged directly to your phone bill. LRS is not connected with Legal Aid Ontario. To find out whether you qualify for Legal Aid assistance, call 1-800-668-8258.
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