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Judge: Morningside can't add beds, move

Rehab home's attorney contends that the ruling does little to reduce the amount of beds the company operates in Newport Beach.

December 21, 2011|By Joseph Serna

Morningside Recovery cannot add beds and or move its facilities within Newport Beach until a lawsuit between it and the city is resolved, an Orange County Superior Court judge has ruled.

In rejecting Newport's request to immediately prohibit Morningside from operating as a rehabilitation home, Judge Sheila Fell decided last week to essentially maintain the status quo.

"Morningside Recovery wants to comply with the Development Agreement," Morningside counsel Mary Helen Beatificato said in a statement Wednesday. "Under the Development Agreement, Morningside is allowed to operate a total of 36 beds in the city. Judge Fell's ruling does little, if anything, to reduce this number."

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The city is looking to boot Morningside from its neighborhood locales after a city staff report earlier this year revealed that the facilities violated their agreement with the city more than 80 times. The City Council has passed an ordinance canceling its agreement with Morningside.

Morningside sued, challenging the decision. Fell's ruling says Morningside can continue to operate despite the ordinance until it's resolved in court.

Newport Beach's city attorney declined to comment.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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