Taylor v Constable of St. Helier

CourtRoyal Court
Judge(Ereaut, Bailiff and Jurats Bailhache and Blampied):
Judgment Date07 February 1980
Date07 February 1980
(Ereaut, Bailiff and Jurats Bailhache and Blampied):

G.R. Boxall for the plaintiff;

H.M. Attorney General for the defendant.

Intoxicating Liquor—licensed premises—absence of licence holder—licence not inoperative if licensee unable to have charge of premises, e.g. because in prison—continues in force until suspended or revoked by Licensing Assembly and closure of premises by Constable therefore ultra vires

EREAUT, BAILIFF: The plaintiff is the owner of the business known as The Prince of Wales Tavern conducted at the premises Number 8 Hilgrove Street in the Parish of St. Helier (hereinafter called "the licensed premises"), and is the holder of a First Category Licence granted to him by the Licensing Assembly in pursuance of the provisions of the Licensing (Jersey) Law, 1974 (hereinafter called "the Law") in respect of the licensed premises.

On 31st January, 1980, the plaintiff was convicted at the Police Court of an infraction of (inter alia) Article 16 of the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 (as amended) and sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Consequent upon that sentence, the defendant, acting in his capacity as the Constable of the Parish of St. Helier and acting by his servants or agents, visited the licensed premises and ordered the plaintiff's wife, Mrs. Susan Veronica Taylor, to "close" the licensed premises, that is to say, not to operate the licence held by the plaintiff during the period of his imprisonment.

By an Order of Justice served on the defendant, the plaintiff alleged that in "closing" the licensed premises the defendant acted "ultra vires" and the plaintiff therefore asked the Court to order that the defendant be restrained from "closing" the licensed premises and to declare that in "closing" the licensed premises the defendant acted without right or title. In the alternative, that in the event that the defendant was entitled to "close" the licensed premises by reason of and during the plaintiff's term of imprisonment the plaintiff was immediately entitled to appoint a manager or deputy to take charge of the business in accordance with the provisions of the Law and subject to those provisions to cause the licensed premises to be "opened" and the licence to be operated. The plaintiff also sought damages.

After hearing the arguments of counsel for the parties, on 7th February, we gave verbal judgement in favour of the plaintiff on the ground that in "closing" the licensed premises the defendant acted "ultra vires". We now give reasons for that judgement.

The burden of showing that he acted lawfully in "closing" the licensed premises rests on the defendant, and therefore we consider the arguments advanced by the Attorney General in justification of the defendant's action. Those arguments may be summarised as follows:

Under the Law a licence is granted to a specific individual (or limited liability company) in respect of specific premises. Before granting a licence under the Law the Licensing Assembly is required to be satisfied as to two matters:

1. The suitability of the premises for the conduct of the business.

2. The suitability of the applicant to have charge of the licensed premises.

It is, therefore, essential that the business to be conducted on the licensed premises should at all times during the operation of the licence be under the charge of the licence holder, and accordingly every licence is deemed to be granted subject to an implied condition that it will operate for only so long as the licence holder is not incapacitated from being in charge of the licensed premises (except in those circumstances where the Law expressly provides, in Articles 19 and 20, that a manager or deputy may be appointed).

Where the licence holder is incapacitated from being in charge of the licensed premises, then, unless the circumstances envisaged by Articles 19 and 20 apply and a manager or deputy is so appointed, the licence ceases to operate during such period of incapacity, and any person who sells liquor on the licensed premises during such period...

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2 cases
  • Re McMahon
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 7 Abril 1993
    ...Sol. Jo. 644, dictum of Lord Denning, M.R. applied. (16) Rees v. Kratzmann (1965), 114 C.L.R. 63. (17) Taylor v. St. Helier (Constable), 1980 J.J. 29. (18) Tett v. States, 1970 J.J. 1461; further proceedings, 1971 J.J. 1805; on appeal, 1972 J.J. 2249. (19) Tournier v. Nat. Provncl. & Union ......
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 13 Julio 1993
    ...In re an, 1978 J.J. 193. Doody v. Home Secy., [1993] 3 All E.R. 92. O, In re, [1991] 2 Q.B. 520. Taylor v. Constable of St. Helier, 1980 J.J. 29. Tett v. States, 1972 J.J. 2249. Legislation construed: Court of Appeal (Jersey) Law 1961, art. 1: The relevant terms of this article are set out ......

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