Blue Iguana, Inc. v. Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 09-18-2013
  • Case #: A145868
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, P.J., Duncan, J., Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The “crowd management exemption” under ORS 181.871(2), which permits limited use of unlicensed security personnel at events involving liquor, applies only to “organized events,” and the discretion to define the terms of that statute rests with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Blue Iguana, a Mexican restaurant, appealed from a final judgment by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) penalizing the restaurant for using security personnel that had not been issued “Private Security Identification” cards by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. An OLCC hearing followed at which Blue Iguana was found in violation and had their liquor license suspended for 74 days, or 22 days with a penalty of $8,580. Blue Iguana appealed, arguing (1) that the OLCC erred in finding that the “crowd management exemption” to ORS 181.991(1)(b) under ORS 181.871(2), which permits limited use of unlicensed security personnel, applied exclusively to “organized events,” (2) that the restaurant could not be penalized under that statute without formal promulgation of a rule defining “organized event,” and, (3) that the event at issue did fall within the definition of “organized event.” The Court of Appeals concluded that the “crowd management exemption” applied exclusively to “organized events,” and that the term “organized event” may be defined by the OLCC without formal rulemaking procedures. The Court did not decide Blue Iguana’s final argument because it was asserted for the first time on appeal. Affirmed.

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