Filing an Appeal

How To File an Appeal:

You must notify the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board (“the Appeals Board”) that you are appealing from a decision of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“the Department”) by filing a document with the Appeals Board. The document may be in the form of a legal pleading or a letter.

The appeal document must:

  • be in writing, preferably typewritten or word processed;
  • state that an appeal is being filed;
  • include the name of the appellant, the registration and file numbers, and the date of the decision; and
  • state at least one ground for the appeal, that is, a statement of why you believe the Department’s decision is wrong.
  • Please include the following information in the caption of all documents filed with the Appeals Board: your address, your State Bar number (if applicable), telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address. Once you are assigned a case number (AB-XXXX) please put this number on all documents filed with the Board.

Filing Requirements:

  • You must send a signed original and three copies of the appeal document to the Appeals Board, and attach a Proof of Service (form available here) showing the names and addresses of all the parties to whom you mailed a copy, and the date it was mailed;
  • You must send a copy of your appeal to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (plus a copy of the proof of service); and
  • You must also send a copy of your appeal to any other parties involved in the matter (plus a copy of the proof of service).
  • The appeal document must be filed at the Appeals Board office within 40 days from the date of the Department’s decision (usually the date mailed to the recipient). However, if the Department’s decision states it is to be “effective immediately,” you must file an appeal within 10 days after the date of the Department’s decision. Documents not filed with these time limits are untimely and cannot be accepted by the Appeals Board.
  • A document is filed when it is received at the Appeals Board office if it is delivered in person, by regular mail, or by a delivery service. However, an appeal document is considered filed on the date it is mailed if it is sent by certified or registered mail.
  • If you have any questions about this procedure, please call the Appeals Board office at (916) 445-4005.

There is no charge for filing an appeal, but you will receive a bill from the Department for transcript costs.

The rules for filing an appeal may be found in the Business and Professions Code in Sections 23080-23083.