Tuesday, August 28, 2018

AG's Wine Case Sours

Attorney General Jim Hood's efforts to sue several wine companies for shipping wine into Mississippi suffered a severe blow in where else but Rankin County last week.  The Attorney General and Lord Protector of the Realm charged that several out of state wine companies illegally shipped wine into the state.  However, General Hood case soured when a Chancellor dismissed most of the defendants. 

The Attorney Generalissimo beat his chest and loudly proclaimed he was going after those evil bootleggers earlier this year.  He stated in a press release:

The Office of the Attorney General and the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division of the Department of Revenue filed a complaint last month against six wine companies after finding that the companies were illegally shipping wine into the state, including to underage Mississippians and dry counties.

In Mississippi, alcohol shipments to an individual or business are illegal if the purchase is not made directly through the ABC. The complaint, which was filed in Rankin County Chancery Court, seeks injunctive relief against the following wine merchants: Wine Express, Inc. of Mt. Kisco, New York; The California Wine Club, of Ventura, California; Gold Medal Wine Club of Santa Barbara, California; and Bottle Deals Inc. of Syosset, New York.

During the course of the investigation by the AGO and DOR, agents attempted to make online purchases of wine from 63 vendors. Of those vendors, 22 of them (35%) sold and subsequently shipped products into Mississippi. The primary concern of those purchases were the ones made in the name of an underage person or delivered to a home without an individual over the age of 21 being there at the time of delivery.

Further, purchases were made and delivered to locations within dry counties; areas where the people chose to not allow the sale or possession of alcoholic beverages in their community. There are currently 36 counties dry for alcoholic beverages with an additional 4 counties which have one of their two districts being dry.

In addition to these concerns, there is a revenue loss to the state of approximately $6 lost on every $25 bottle of wine. This revenue, if collected, would be used to fund services for the benefit of all citizens of Mississippi. If the injunction is granted, the companies would be required to train and educate their employees on liquor shipment laws in Mississippi and would also be required to place disclaimers in any advertisements placed in Mississippi to clarify such shipments are not available in the state.



Hot diggity-damn.  The Gold Coast done made it to the internet.  The Attorney General might have missed the 60's but he finally got his chance to refight one that decade's battles: prohibition.  Unfortunately for General Hood, a Rankin County Chancellor (of course) dealt a severe blow to his attempts to protect Mississippians from the evils of fine wine.

Chancellor John Grant threw out Attorney General's lawsuit against Bottle Deals,  Gold Medal Wine, and Wine Express last week.  He decreed that there was a lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants.  Ouch. 






34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who paid for the wine that was shipped and where is that wine now?

Anonymous said...

Probably at Conway Twitty's house ready for a party with the preachers.

Anonymous said...

Joel Howell....old school lawyer.

Old Jackson family.

First in his class at Columbia Law.

Weird dude.

Very bright....

Anonymous said...

8:07 am No doubt that Mississippi individuals paid for the wine for personal use and for their wine clubs and for gifts.

Much of this wine is sold by small ,boutique vineyards.

Of course, Mississippians have been bringing wine that they can't buy here home in cars from Louisiana and Florida for years.

Our wine laws are stupid. They effectively keep Mississippians from having access to fine wines and favor large mass producers.

Anonymous said...

So the Great State of Mississippi doesn’t mind stealing money from wine drinkers to promote the common good but won’t pass a lottery bill because it taxes the poor? Or because Harrahs and Boyd gaming won’t give their stooges permission to pass.

Anonymous said...

Reversed on appeal

http://www.lrcvaw.org/laws/mslongarm.pdf

The idea that a non resident business can violate MS law and not be held accountable here is alarming.

Anonymous said...

Of course the AG's office was caught with its pants down around its ankles. They have a goober head leading the case. Dear Lord, Jim Bobo. Lack of personal jurisdiction? That's like tee ball for lawyers.

Anonymous said...

UPS was curious why there had been such an unusual flurry of shipments into Houston, MS.

Gambler53 said...

I cannot believe our AG is wasting time and resources pursuing this when we have so many other problems.

Anonymous said...

Remove the ABC. Let’s grocery stores sell wine and spirits. We are living in an outdated Baptist mentality. Less than 40 percent of people even go to church anymore. Blue laws are so dumb.

Lyn Howell said...

The Attorney General needs to worry more about the CBD and vape oils and related junk being mailed into our state and ordered off the internet!

Anonymous said...

In the janitor's closet at the AG's office, under lock and key?

Pappy Odaniel said...

God Bless you Jim Hood for keeping the public safe from the imminent threat of home delivered hooch. Who knows what dangers we have averted by having to drive into town for the Sutter Home instead of having it delivered to the house. This will surely put you over the top against short cut Tater.

Anonymous said...

8:31 is spot on!

Anonymous said...

Just wait til the drones start delivering anything you want. Including pot.

Louis LeFleur said...

Well said about Joel, 8:29. I know him too, but don't see very often these days. I don't pretend to be a lawyer or know much about the law, but I'd expect our AG and Bobo, who has been a member of the bar since 1988, to know better than this. Shame, shame!

Anonymous said...

One would think it safer to have wine delivered to one's home, than for one to drive to a liquor store and buy it. One could have run out of wine, then drive to get more while intoxicated.

Having a case of wine at a time shipped on a regular schedule keeps you drinking at home and not driving on the street.

BTW, I'm out of merlot. Can I get some shipped? I'm tired of driving to the liquor store.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi government failing the common good of the people again.

Anonymous said...

Well, show me the way
To the next whiskey bar
Oh, don't ask why
Oh, don't ask why
Show me the way
To the next whiskey bar
Oh, don't ask why
Oh, don't ask why
For if we don't find
The next whiskey bar
I tell you we must die
I tell you we must die
I tell you, I tell you
I tell you we must die

[Chorus]
Oh, moon of Mississippi
We now must say goodbye
We've lost our good old mama
And must have whiskey, oh, you know why

[Verse 2]
Show me the way to the next little girl
Oh, don't ask why
Oh, don't ask why
Show me the way to the next little girl
Oh, don't ask why
Oh, don't ask why
For if we don't find
The next little girl
I tell you we must die
I tell you we must die
I tell you, I tell you
I tell you we must die
Jim Morrison (Whiskey Bar)

Anonymous said...

Jurisdiction law has been muddied up since BMS v. Superior Court of California, Daimler v. Bauman and BNSF v. Tyrrell, but I can't imagine the MSSC saying the MS Courts have no jurisdiction over a foreign corporation illegally shipping a product into MS.

I understand the arguments of "its just a little wine," but change the product to marijuana, spice or some other illegal drug and ask yourself if the result should be the same.

Anonymous said...

10:37

I sure hope that was copy and paste. I'd have to have a drink to type and correct all that.

Anonymous said...

The State needs to get out if the liquor business! Legalize it in all counties and municipalities and get rid of the ABC. While your at it, get that young reporter who is digging up dirt on the Lakeland Drive Frontage Road and let him nose around the Dept of Revenue and he will find tons of corruption.

Anonymous said...

The alcohol laws need to be changed. While we are at it, we should change marijuana laws too. We might actually be able to attract a younger demographic and maybe even some tourism if we were the first state in the south to move on it. Unfortunately neither of these will happen in my lifetime.

Anonymous said...

FYI

Jim Bobo is a heck of a lawyer.

You might do some research and see how he told the MS Sup Court to eat it....and the court dared him to show up and say it to their faces via a show cause order.....and he did just that. They didn't say a word in response to him.

Meanwhile, Marc "no spine" Baker copulated with every judge there...even the lady. He looks pitiful.

Anonymous said...

O.k. now that the #msleg finally passed some legislation a majority of the citizens wanted, and that was creating a lottery.

On to Phase II of "Bringing Mississippi into the 21st Century"

It's high time the State of Mississippi gets out of the bootlegging business.

It's time to eliminate ABC. If you're for small government, then best believe you start pressing your legislator to call for eliminating ABC and let the free market dictate itself.

It will be better for the Mississippi consumer biggly.

ABC marks up our liquor and then the liquor stores sell it to us again with 7% sales tax.

There are a lot of wines and liquors that do not cross our borders because of ABC.

Now mom and pop liquor stores benefit because of our archaic liquor laws, but the state needs to be about the consumer because we drive the economy. We need to get a campaign going to get the liquor laws changed.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ August 28, 2018 at 12:38 PM

Sorry to disappoint you, but Arkansas has already legalized medical marijuana and Louisiana, has already begun test runs as well. Tennessee's legislator has actively begun debating the issue on the floor of their legislature.

And as always, Mississippi is bringing it up behind the rear.

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting about three months to obtain a collectible bottle of whiskey from Japan. It is a rare item shaped like a fox. I can go to town and buy run of the mill products and wine but the darn State doesn't like collectors.

I call it religious discrimination as the MS ABC has very little Kosher wine and nothing that I know of from Israel. Abolish the ABC and let free enterprise wholesales run the show.

Wai Zho Dum said...

@ Lynn Howell, if you're referring to CBD oils adulterated with synthetic cannabinoids, I agree. If you are referring to legitimate CBD, you are barking up the wrong tree ma'am.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many Baptists are ordering their wine from an online source?

Anonymous said...

Mississippi's dumb ass Attorney General ought to be suing the State for unconstitutionally forcing religious blue laws on it's people as well as being a trust buster of the same government for having a monopoly on one product. He's a stupid idiot....plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

How exactly are wine sellers, who are shipping wine into the state, not purposefully availing themselves to the state of Mississippi? Does anyone know what went on in the case - did Hood not have any actual evidence that these sellers had at least one bottle of wine sitting on a shelf someplace? Stream of commerce is at least one base you'd like the AG to make sure he can touch, before you get the ball rolling on a big PR case like this.

Shazam said...

"Now mom and pop liquor stores benefit because of our archaic liquor laws"
5:04-who do you think operates the "mom and pop" liquor stores? While our laws aren't perfect (whose are?), they do work to protect locally owned businesses in our state. When you get rid of mom and pop stores, all you are left with is what the big box stores offer-no selection and no customer service. Just look at Kroger and Wal-mart-they are deleting national brands in favor of their own since they have little competition. The same would happen in the liquor\wine situation. Your fine wine and spirits choices would dis-appear overnight. And, by the way, the ABC does not limit your selection now. More often than not, the wineries and distilleries themselves determine where to send their products.

Anonymous said...

@10:18 LOL That would be like letting that wannabe cowboy charge those liquor distributors with full out trafficking. He's just trying to make political points with low-education, overly religious Mississippians because he knows that if he goes after the citizens themselves, (especially those Baptists) for purchasing that evil whiskey, that wouldn't be very popular when it comes time to vote. Poor Jim "Bobo" Hood.....seems like he doesn't really know where he belongs. Time to go home and sell insurance Jim.

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please! We're not denigrating the owners of liquor stores for trying to make a buck. And we're not pissing on the legs of Baptists. We're laughing at General Hood. This ain't his first rodeo or the first time he fell off his horse. If not for his arrogance, it wouldn't be nearly so enjoyable watching the arena clowns rush out to pick him up.

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