The City of Malibu is headed to court again, this time fighting back against California regulators whom they say turned a “blind eye” to Passages Malibu, a rehab center the city claims is operating against state law.
According to City Attorney Christi Hogin, the suit seeks to force the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to shut Passages down and force owners to apply for a new license to cover all eight buildings as one sprawling facility.
“Basically, we are looking for an order from the court directing the state to revoke their eight licenses,” Hogin said.
Hogin announced the legal action during Monday night’s City Council meeting at Malibu City Hall.
“[Tuesday] morning, the city is going to file a lawsuit against the State of California, and in particular, Jennifer Kent, who is the Director of California Health Services, who’s responsible for issuing licenses to alcohol and drug rehab programs,” she said.
The conflict between Passages and the City of Malibu has been ongoing since 2006, with the city most recently issuing a violation to the facility in February of 2014. Malibu officials and residents feel the facility is operating outside of the law and disrupting the calm of Sycamore Canyon, since its many buildings are all under the same direction and, according to the city, operate as one large hospital-like complex.