Mailing Date: March 22, 2010
RE: Private Club Rules
Dear Ms. Bowers:
ISSUE: This is in response to your e-mail of February 24, 2010 to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“Board”), wherein you inquire as to how an individual can get an answer to a question concerning Board rules and regulations pertaining to private clubs such as an American Legion and the Loyal Order of Moose. Specifically, you ask if a spouse of a club member is considered to be a “guest” and does the spouse come under the rules of “guests only admitted three times per year”?
OPINION: Generally neither the Liquor Code nor the Board’s Regulations contain a restriction regarding the admittance of guest, whether a spouse or not. Section 5.81 of the Board’s Regulations requires a club licensee to adhere to the provisions of its constitution and/or by- laws. [40 Pa. Code § 5.81]. If a particular club has provisions of its constitution and/or bylaws defining who constitutes a “guest,” such as whether or not a spouse is considered a guest or a club member, it must follow those provisions. The same would be true as to whether or not a spouse, who is considered to be a guest of the club, may only be admitted three (3) times per year if that is a provision of the club’s constitution or by-laws. For more general information, you may want to consult prior Advisory Opinions from this office, which can be found on the Board’s website at www.lcb.state.pa.us, then click on “For Licensees,” then “Legal Issues,” then search the Advisory Opinions using key words, such as “club membership” or something similar.
THIS OPINION APPLIES ONLY TO THE FACTUAL SITUATION DESCRIBED HEREIN AND DOES NOT INSULATE THE LICENSEE OR OTHERS FROM CONSEQUENCES OF CONDUCT OCCURRING PRIOR TO ITS ISSUANCE. THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED CONDUCT HAS BEEN ADDRESSED ONLY UNDER THE LIQUOR CODE AND REGULATIONS. THE LAWS AND POLICIES ON WHICH THIS OPINION IS BASED ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE LEGISLATURE OR THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD.
Very truly yours,
FAITH S. DIEHL
cc: Pennsylvania State Police,
Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement
Jerry Waters, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs
Jane Melchior, Director, Bureau of Licensing
Tisha Albert, Assistant Director, Bureau of Licensing
LCB Advisory Opinion No. 10-099