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Rehab site remains in use after deadline to vacate

With no movement to vacate 812 Third St., but a new police report at the same location, Marietta City Law Director Paul Bertram plans to file another motion today against Oriana House Inc.

The nonprofit addiction recovery organization, with Northeast Ohio roots and several footholds locally, initially lost in the city’s case against it concerning the Third Street residential treatment facility at the beginning of September.

Appointed Judge John Solovan ruled that the nonprofit did not follow local zoning codes to request a Special Use Permit from the city’s planning commission and must do so or vacate by Nov. 10.

Oriana filed an appeal to that decision in October and asked the trial court, through Solovan, to stay his order to vacate the premises by Sunday while the Fourth District Court of Appeals considers Oriana’s appeal.

“To my knowledge, the judge has not yet ruled,” said Bertram on Monday. “But there hasn’t been any movement out of the facility to follow his order, and let’s say he denies the stay, then Oriana would have a short window of time to file to have the injunction stayed by the appeals court.”

Meanwhile, Bertram said he plans to amend his most recent response to the nonprofit’s appeal motion, noting a police record which appeared in the Oct. 25 edition of the Times.

“On Oct. 17, there was an investigation by the Marietta police into drug paraphernalia found at 812 Third St.,” Bertram explained.

The police report referenced noted, “an officer was dispatched to 812 Third St. on Oct. 17 in reference to found drug paraphernalia. No suspects were identified. This case remains under investigation.”

Bertram said this report could be used as further evidence of legal harm the nonprofit inflicts on the city by not following city laws.

In the Oriana House response to Bertram’s initial filing against their motion to stay the injunction, Stephen Funk, the attorney representing the nonprofit, states that no “tangible harm” will result if the court preserves the status quo through the completion of the appeals process.

“When reviewed in the proper context, therefore, this court primarily should focus on the relative harms that could result over the next 8 to 9 months if the injunction were temporarily stayed until the appeal can be decided by a three-judge panel,” Funk wrote.

The residential treatment facility has currently been open for eight months, and the nonprofit contends that it chose not to follow Solovan’s original order to seek a special use permit between Sept. 12 and Sunday.

“Given the strong opposition by a small but vocal group of concerned citizens, it is likely that the planning commission will exercise its discretion to deny a special permit,” Funk explained.

The case does have a constitutional right of de novo review — meaning an inherent appeal right to the Fourth District Court in Athens. To date, the case has not been added to that docket.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

Timeline:

• March 21:Marietta City Council authorized City Law Director Paul Bertram to file an injunction against Oriana House Inc.

• April 18: Bertram files against the nonprofit.

• June 5: Appointed Judge John Solovan hears oral arguments for and against the injunction.

• Sept. 10: Solovan finds against the nonprofit, ordering Oriana to seek a special use permit through the Marietta City Planning Commission.

• Oct. 10: Oriana files an appeal and a motion to stay Solovan’s injunction to move out by Nov. 10.

• Today: Bertram files an amendment to his response on the appeal and motion to stay–noting recent criminal investigations at the 812 Third St. facility.

Source: Times research.

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