Company wants judge to order Johnson City, state to issue licenses for methadone clinic

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- A company that tried to open a methadone clinic in Johnson City a few years ago is asking a federal judge to order the city and state to issue the necessary licenses so it can open.

In October, a federal judge lifted the hold on the three-year lawsuit. Tri-Cities Holdings filed the 2013 lawsuit against the city of Johnson City and the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, HSDA, after the state denied its certificate of need application for a methadone clinic in Johnson City.

Attorneys on both sides of the case have submitted summary judgments to the judge on why the suit should either be dismissed or decided. The lawyer for Tri-Cities Holdings allege that Johnson City’s zoning ordinances block access to addiction treatment and some state laws relating to methadone clinics violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The company wants the judge to decide the case and is asking that the individual plaintiffs listed in the suit receive money for legal fees and damages. The company also wants the judge to order Johnson City and the HSDA to issue the necessary licenses so it can open and operate a methadone clinic in Johnson City.

Johnson City and the HSDA want the lawsuit dismissed. The city is arguing the plaintiffs do not have any standing or direct injuries to bring the lawsuit. The city’s attorney also pointed out that the “complaint is moot” because the claims are based on a city law that no longer exists. Attorneys for the city and state also mention that Tri-Cities recently dismissed an administrative appeal process for its CON application in its arguments for the lawsuit dismissal. The judge is set to make a decision in the case in early January.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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