Judge blocks Saginaw methadone clinic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Opponents of Shelby County’s first methadone clinic breathed a sigh of relief last Wednesday after a judge issued a temporary restraining order against activity at the clinic, which was under construction on U.S. Highway 31 in Saginaw.

A hearing has been set for 9 a.m. on Friday, June 4 at the Shelby County Courthouse.

During the hearing, District Attorney Robby Owens will state why he wants a new certificated of need hearing with the state Health Planning and Development Agency in Montgomery. The agency granted the Shelby Treatment Center a Certificate of Need for the methadone clinic in January.

Owens and Pelham attorney Mickey Johnson are working together to get a permanent restraining order against Susan Staats-Sidwell and Dr. Glenn Archibald, co-applicants for the Shelby Treatment Center.

David Belser of Nabors, Belser and DeBray law office in Montgomery represented Sidwell in the application for the Shelby Treatment Center.

According to Belser, nobody showed up to oppose the clinic during the application hearing.

Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry and Owens both said they found out about the clinic when it was too late to appear at the Certificate of Need application hearing in Montgomery.

Aside from possible city ordinances, Belser said the Certificate of Need from the State Health Planning and Development Agency is the only legal obstacle in opening a new methadone clinic.

Sidwell began construction work to open Shelby Treatment Center in Saginaw, an unincorporated portion of Shelby County.

Originally, Sidwell had proposed opening the clinic in Calera.

Belser said the Certificate of Need does not specify where the clinic can open.

&uot;When you apply for a Certificate of Need, you can open anywhere in the county,&uot; Belser said.

Belser said he was not sure of any specific, overriding reason as to why Saginaw was chosen as the ultimate location for the Shelby Treatment Center.