Decision Delayed on Nursing Home Restraining Order
ROCKY HILL - by Katelyn Kelleher
After hearing arguments in court last Tuesday, Feb. 5, Judge Antonio C. Robaina delayed the decision on the Town of Rocky Hill’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent inmates and mental patients from moving into the specialized nursing facility located at 60 West St.
The town has filed suit seeking a permanent injunction against the property owner and facility operator, SecureCare Realty LLC and iCare Management LLC. Town Attorney Morris B. Borea had also asked for the restraining order to freeze the opening of the 95-bed facility.
By opening the facility, a joint venture between the state departments of Corrections, Social Services and Mental Health and Addiction Services, the state would see $5.5 million in Medicaid reimbursements annually.
“A poignant question that the judge asked was does the judge have the right to set a temporary restraining order?” Mayor Anthony LaRosa said at a town meeting last Wednesday, Feb. 6. “Then the judge looked at the defense lawyer and asked ‘Is this a nursing home or a prison?’ Our attorney thought that was a very telling question.”
LaRosa said Borea “felt very comfortable [after the hearing], but you never know what the judge is going to do.
“The judge is trying to come up with a decision that won’t be overturned,” he said.
Judge Robaina, addressing rumors that iCare and SecureCare are trying to move patients in sooner rather than later, said he would rule rather quickly on the restraining order, LaRosa said.
Several residents who live close to the facility said at Wednesday’s town meeting that there has been little action at the property, though one resident said his wife had observed four or five cars coming every day and staying for a few hours.
LaRosa told neighbors of the facility to keep an eye out for activity.
“If they put prisoners in there before the ruling, that would fly in our favor,” he said.
Residents have organized a petition opposing the facility as well as a rally at the north entry to the state capitol scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bust transportation will be provided and more information is available at www.protectct.com