Motion denied in Discovery House case

CLEARFIELD – The future of Discovery House in Pike Township remains up in the air.

Clearfield County Judge Paul E. Cherry ruled Monday afternoon that a motion filed by the methadone treatment facility’s attorney was denied.

That motion was filed to allow Discovery House’s doors to remain open while the case proceeded through the courts.

Temporary permits issued by Guardian Inspection Services of DuBois allowed one trailer to be used until June 28 and another trailer to be used until July 27.

Just what happens now, though, is unknown. A call to Guardian Inspection Services was not immediately returned Monday.

It is also not known whether the trailer with an expired permit is being used.

Counsel for Discovery House plans to file a motion to consolidate hearings on whether a declaratory judgment should be issued — a ruling that determines the rights of the parties involved — and whether Act 10 of 1999 applies in the case of Discovery House.

Act 10, as the legislation is commonly referred, prohibits the location of a methadone treatment facility within 500 feet of certain land uses. Two of those land uses, a public park (Rails to Trails) and a residential area, were cited when the Clearfield County Planning Commission failed to approve a land development plan last month.

Judge Cherry cited conditions that must be met for a preliminary injunction to be issued. First, the injunction must be necessary to prevent immediate and irreversible harm that cannot be made up through the awarding of damages. Second, there must be greater damage from denying the injunction than from granting it.

“The Court is satisfied that (Discovery House) has failed to balance their personal interests with the interests of society,” said Judge Cherry in his ruling.

The next steps will be made by Discovery House.

One planned action is to appeal the decision of the Clearfield County Planning Commission, which denied a land development plan to construct a larger facility. The clinic is currently treating 215 patients with a waiting list of 400 to 500 people.

Discovery House could also file a motion to consolidate two issues: Whether Act 10 actually applies in this case and what the final judgment should be.

Jodi Brennan was one of several people who testified Monday. She said nothing pertaining to Discovery House is on the commission’s agenda Monday night. She said she will, however, address the commission on Monday’s court ruling.

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