Update from the Save Citizens/Montevue Committee

NEWS RELEASE: Opponents To Citizens Nursing Home Sale Win Again In Circuit Court

Opponents working to stop the Frederick County Board of Commissioners’ plan to divide the Montevue property in order to sell Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and close Montevue Assisted Living won another victory in court today, making them 3-0 in court actions heard on the issue during the month of July.

In the latest finding, Judge Theresa M. Adams denied the County’s attempt to override the Frederick City Board of Zoning Appeals’ December 6, 2013 ruling that sent the City’s Planning Commission approval of a final subdivision plat for the Montevue property back to the Planning Commission for a new hearing. Judge Adams’ ruling stated that, “It is clear to this court that the administrative process underlying this petition is not complete,” and that “this Court would be reviewing a decision that the BZA has remanded to the Planning Commission, thus intervening before the proper administrative remedies have been conducted.” “Furthermore, because the BZA has remanded this current matter to the FCPC, there is no final administrative decision from which a proper appeal to this Court may be filed.”

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Earlier this month, Judge Adams ruled on two additional motions brought by the County. In the first, the County attempted to pre-empt the trial dates set in the full case for January of 2015 by instigating an immediate appeal based on claims of financial hardship related to other uses of the Montevue property. Judge Adams rejected the County’s request, saying that she could consider only the issues before her, which did not concern the other uses of the land, and stated that the current status did not meet the requirements needed by the state’s appellate courts for reviewing part of a case on appeal before a trial court decision on the full case.

In the second motion, the County asked for dismissal of the citizen groups’ addition to the ongoing legal action seeking to block the asset purchase agreement the County signed on May 1, 2014, with Aurora Health Management. Leslie Powell, the attorney representing the citizens, told the Court that the claim should be allowed to continue because it is based on new actions by the County and relates to the legal issues in the rest of the suit. Judge Adams ruled against the County, saying it would be “prejudicial to require the plaintiffs to file another lawsuit,” when the trial is scheduled for January.

“We appreciate the Court’s findings on these matters,” Powell said in a statement. “The citizens pursuing this action have intense commitment to the welfare of Frederick County’s poorest and most vulnerable seniors, and they look forward to making their case in court next January.”

CONTACT:

Cindy Powell
(cell) 240-479-8209
cindy@scottpowell.com