Final ban sought against clinic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A judge has been asked to permanently block Shelby County’s first methadone clinic from opening its doors for business in Saginaw.

Shelby County Circuit Judge Dan Reeves will hear the case next Monday at 9 a.m. in the Shelby County Courthouse. Last month, Reeves issued a preliminary injunction blocking the clinic owners from opening the medical facility.

In January, Susan Staats-Sidwell and Dr. Glenn Archibald were issued a certificate of need from the state Health and Planning Development Agency to open Shelby Treatment Center. The certificate permitted the applicants to administer methadone, a prescription drug used to combat addiction to pain killers and heroin.

Originally, the clinic applicants intended to open the center in Calera. However, after failing to secure a lease in that city, they found a location on U.S. Highway 31 in unincorporated Saginaw.

Clinic attorney David Belser said during a June hearing that his clients had not violated procedures for opening the clinic. Belser has said securing the certificate of need is the only legal obstacle for opening a clinic.

&uot;Our job was over with when they got the certificate of need,&uot; Belser said.

When clinic officials found out they could not secure a location in Calera, Belser said, they filed a project modification on May 24 with the state agency.

Alan Edmundson, a Saginaw resident with property adjacent to the proposed location for the methadone clinic, said the modification was granted two days after Reeves filed a temporary restraining order against the clinic.

Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens, along with Mickey Johnson, a Pelham attorney representing clinic opponents in Saginaw, said the community was not notified sufficiently of the forthcoming clinic.

Following the June hearing, Belser said he wanted the case heard in Montgomery circuit court, not in Shelby County