Dispute over teen group home in Pointe Coupee Parish lands in federal court
BATON ROUGE - The operators of a group home for minors with disabilities has filed a federal lawsuit against Pointe Coupee Parish over its recently enacted ban on such homes.
Believe Therapeutic Group Home LLC filed its complaint in the US District Court based in Baton Rouge on Friday.
The lawsuit notes that the company already owns and manages a successful group home in the parish, and that it had purchased a second property with the intention of opening an identical facility there. That property is located in the 11700 block of LA-1.
But -- the lawsuit claims -- parish officials thereafter passed "the first Zoning Ordinance in its history that prohibited group homes in the Parish."
Believe TGH says it sought a "reasonable accommodation" to waive the four-person limit established by the ordinance, but that "stereotypical fears of crime" motivated the parish to reject that effort.
Now, the company wants the Court to find the ordinance in violation of federal laws that prevent discrimination against individuals based on disabilities.
The Believe TGH home already operating in New Roads is an accredited residential treatment facility that accepts minors referred there by the Louisiana Department of Health.
The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial for the case.
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