SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Eric Heinz
On Oct. 27, Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center (doing business as Sovereign Health), a provider of mental health and drug-abuse recovery treatment based in San Clemente, filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming discrimination on the part of the city. Then on Nov. 2, the city of San Clemente filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against Sovereign Health, alleging Sovereign committed multiple infractions of the city’s municipal law.
In the city’s press release, the city names multiple addresses where the alleged offenses took place. The alleged offenses include “littering, loud and unruly behavior, operating without a business license, disorderly conduct,” and others.
The city is asking the courts to enact a temporary restraining order against Sovereign Health and for the company to pay for the city’s attorney fees and “further relief” as deemed by the court.
Sovereign Health has stated otherwise in its lawsuit combined with Satya Health of California, Inc., and Vedanta Laboratories, Inc. The company claims the city has withheld permits from them in order to operate and has discriminated against them. Sovereign Health claimed the new residential ordinances the city adopted earlier this year “effectively ban” sober living homes, thereby violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
There were settlement negotiations related to prior complaints Sovereign Health made against the city, but those did not come to amicable terms.
Sovereign Health is asking the federal court to determine the city’s newly enacted laws are invalid based on federal law and that they amend the definitions.
The city is in current litigation with other alleged sober living home companies, such as Sobertec LLC; and Coast to Coast Referral Center.