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General Laws

Section 67. Any applicant for a license who is aggrieved by the action of the local licensing authorities in refusing to grant the same, or by their failure to act within the period of thirty days limited by section sixteen B, or any person who is aggrieved by the action of such authorities in modifying, suspending, cancelling, revoking or declaring forfeited the same, may appeal therefrom to the commission within five days following notice of such action or following the expiration of said period, upon petition in writing, setting forth all the material facts in the case.

The commission shall hold a hearing upon each such appeal, requiring due notice to be given to all interested parties. The decision of the commission shall be made not later than thirty days after the completion of the hearing.

If the commission approves the action of the local licensing authorities it shall issue notice to them to that effect, but if the commission disapproves of their action it shall issue a decision in writing advising said local authorities of the reasons why it does not approve, and shall then remand the matter to the said local authorities for further action. The commission shall not in any event order a license to be issued to any applicant except after said applicant’s application for license has first been granted by the local authorities.

Pending a decision on the appeal, the action of the local licensing authorities shall have the same force and effect as if the appeal had not been taken. Upon the petition of twenty-five persons who are taxpayers of the city or town in which a license has been granted by such authorities, or who are registered voters in the voting precinct or district wherein the licensed premises are situated, the commission shall, or upon its own initiative the commission may, investigate the granting of such a license or the conduct of the business being done thereunder, and shall, after a hearing, modify, suspend, revoke or cancel such license if, in its opinion, circumstances warrant.

If the local licensing authorities fail to suspend, revoke, cancel or declare forfeited a license or to perform any other disciplinary act when lawfully ordered so to do by the commission upon appeal or otherwise, within such reasonable time as it may prescribe, the commission may itself revoke such license or perform such act, with the same force and effect as if issued or performed by the local licensing authorities, but no license shall be issued by the commission except in ratification of a prior issuance to the same party by the local authorities.

In any case in which the commission finds during said hearing that the licensee pursuant to section 12 has served or sold alcohol or alcoholic beverages to either a person under 21 years of age in violation of section 64 or to an intoxicated person in violation of section 69 within the 24 months immediately preceding the date of the alleged violation which is the subject of the hearing, said commission may, in addition to any other sanctions or conditions it may impose, require as a condition precedent to any modification, reinstatement or renewal of said license thereafter that the licensee provide a certificate of insurance for liquor liability of the licensee to a limit of not less than $100,000 to any one person and $200,000 to all persons; provided, however, that if the licensee is required to obtain insurance coverage under said section 12, then the licensing authority may increase the limits set by said section 12. In any other case in which the commission may act pursuant to this section, it may increase, but not decrease, the limits of liquor liability insurance, if any, required by the local licensing authorities as a condition precedent to the modification, reinstatement or renewal of a license.

After receipt by the local licensing authorities of a decision from the commission as set forth in the third paragraph hereof, any applicant for renewal of a license or any licensee who is aggrieved by the action of the local licensing authorities modifying, cancelling, revoking or declaring forfeited a license or failing to issue a license, which would in effect renew for one year a license held during the previous year by the applicant may, if the said local licensing authority fails within five days after receipt of said decision to take the action recommended therein, again appeal to the commission, upon petition in writing setting forth all the material facts in the case. In the event of such reappeal, the commission shall hold a hearing on such reappeal, requiring due notice to be given to all interested parties. If the commission, on such reappeal approves the action of the local licensing authorities, it shall issue notice to them to that effect, but if the commission disapproves their action, it shall issue a decision in writing advising said local authorities of the reasons why it does not approve. This decision of the commission on reappeal shall be final; provided, that in no event shall the commission order the local licensing authorities to issue any licenses to an applicant not a party to the appeal. If the local licensing authorities fail to issue a license which would have the effect of renewing for one year a license held by the applicant during the previous year, subject to the limitation set forth herein, or to perform any other act when lawfully ordered so to do by the commission upon reappeal, within such time as it may prescribe, the commission may itself, after such reappeal, issue such license to a party to the appeal or perform such act, with the same force and effect as if issued or performed by the local licensing authorities.

Hearings by the commission on appeals as required by the provisions of this section may be held in the discretion of the commission when required by public convenience or shall be held upon written request of twenty-five persons who are taxpayers of the city or town in which the license is intended to be exercised, in the nearest of the following cities or towns to the city or town in which the license is intended to be exercised:—Pittsfield, Greenfield, Springfield, Worcester, Fitchburg, Boston, Barnstable, New Bedford, Brockton, Lowell or Salem.

Upon the receipt of such appeal the commission shall forthwith notify the local licensing authorities thereof by mailing registered mail and said request shall be made within ten days of such mailing.

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