Judge: No new residents at sober house
Last updated 2/13/2020 at 1:42am | View PDF
A DuPage County Circuit Court judge has prohibited new residents from moving into the Trinity Sober Living facility at 111 N. Grant St.
Judge Brian Diamond issued a preliminary injunction Feb. 7, allowing only those individuals who resided at the property as of that date to remain. No new residents will be allowed until further order by the court.
“The village is pleased that Judge Diamond ruled in favor of the village on this preliminary matter to avoid intensification of the use of the property during the pendency of the ongoing litigation between the village and Trinity,” Village President Tom Cauley stated in a written release issued Tuesday. “The village is committed to enforcing its zoning code in an even-handed manner to preserve the character of our residential neighborhoods and to protect residents’ property values.”
Michael Owens, executive director and founder of Trinity Sober Living, expressed his disappointment in the judge’s ruling in a written statement.
“In my opinion, the ruling would prevent a family with seven or eight kids from allowing their adult children or college-age children to move back into their house once they left, because, according to the village’s statement, ‘the preliminary injunction avoids intensification of the use of the property,’ ” he said.
The village filed a motion in August 2019 against Trinity, asking the court to order all commercial use to immediately cease and requesting that the property owners be stopped from violating occupancy restrictions in the R-4 residential district as outlined in the zoning code.
Owens said the Trinity family is comprised of adult men suffering from substance use disorder who are working “on becoming their best self” and that living with other men battling the same disability is critical to their recovery.
“Therefore, it is a shame that a village, especially Hinsdale, continues to fight us and refused to compromise when the need for a quality sober living environment is crucial to the success of the long-term recovery of these men in a group setting,” he said.
Trinity Sober Living filed its own lawsuit against the village Nov. 6 in federal court, claiming the village is discriminating against its residents. The suit seeks damages and injunctive relief to allow the company to continue to operate The Sober House.
“My attorneys and I are committed to fighting the village on this matter and pursuing the discrimination charges against the village in federal court,” Owens said.