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Late Renewal of a New Jersey Liquor License

Our Former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General has handled hundreds of ABC cases. Let us put our experience to work for you.

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Relief for Failure to Timely Renew Liquor License

N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.18 Petition Relief

New Jersey requires that liquor license holders renew their licenses yearly with either the local municipality (for retail distribution and retail consumption licenses) or with the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Manufacturer, wholesaler, concessionaire and conflict licenses). The licensee must file a renewal application, renewal fee and proof of New Jersey Sales Tax Clearance on or before July 30 each year. The municipality with then either renew your resolution through resolution or deny renewal. If you, as a licensee, attempt to renew your license after July 30, you will be required to first obtain a 12.18 Special Ruling. These rulings are complex and granted only under extraordinary circumstances. Moreover, without this relief, you will not be renewed and effectively be “retired.”

If your municipality has told you that you missed your renewal date of July 30, a 12.18 Special Ruling will be necessary. These legal petitions to the New Jersey Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control must be crafted to satisfy the standards for relief and you will only have “one bite at the apple.” An experienced ABC liquor law attorney can ensure that you get the relief required to renew your license. Call 732.858.5857 today and speak with a former NJ Deputy Attorney General with the ABC to learn how we can obtain a 12.18 Special Ruling on your behalf

How to Petition the Director for a Special Ruling under N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.18?

When a licensee fails to file its renewal application and pay the annual fees (both municipal and state) on or before July 30 of the year beginning the license term for which renewal is sought, a 12.18 Special Ruling is mandated. N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.18 permits a licensee to petition the Director within one year (until July 30 of the year ending the license term for which renewal is sought) following the expiration of the license renewal period and request a Special Ruling to permit the filing of an application for a new license upon failure to timely renew. Basically, a licensee that files its renewal application and filing fees with the local issuing authority after July 30 of the year beginning the license term for which renewal is sought and no later than July 30 of the year ending the license term for which renewal is sought must receive a Special Ruling from the Director before the license can be renewed. To obtain a Special Ruling, the Director must make a written determination that the applicant’s failure to apply for a renewal of their license in a timely manner was due to circumstances beyond the licensee’s control or other extraordinary circumstances.

Your Verified Petition should include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • Complete identification of licensee and license number;
  • Proof that the renewal application and required fees (both State and Municipal) were filed with the issuing authority on or before July 30, 2018, and the date of filing;
  • Specific recitation of efforts made to renew the license on time and difficulties encountered which prevented the timely renewal of your license. In doing so, you should include dates (or approximations thereof) of when certain activities took place so that the Director can determine whether your failure to apply for renewal in the time provided was due to circumstances beyond your control;
  • Whether you have previously petitioned the Director to authorize a “new” license pursuant to N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.18; and
  • A certification that you filed your properly completed application and fees (both municipal and state) with the local issuing authority, and the date of filing. Upon receipt of your renewal application and fees, the local issuing authority should thereafter defer action and forward your application and fees to this Division’s Licensing Bureau. They are further instructed to not pass any resolution renewing the license until receipt of the Special Ruling from this Division.

New Jersey Attorneys For Liquor Licenses

Failure to properly apply for a Special Ruling can result in a denial of your request. This will not simply close your business for the year but it will prevent your license from possibly ever being renewed, thus eliminating any value it may have. For more information or a complimentary consultation with an ABC attorney, call 732.858.5857. Our law firm can provide you with the expertise required in ABC and liquor license matters.

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