The city of Oakland’s lawsuit that challenged the federal government’s right to shut down Harborside Health Center has been thrown out by a US magistrate judge.
Oakland had argued that by forcing Harborside to close, the federal government would be creating a public safety issue as 100,000 some odd patients would be forced to turn to the black market.
US magistrate judge Maria-Elena James ruled that Oakland’s intervention could not be carried out via the legal avenue the city had chosen. The city was suing under the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the way federal agencies establish regulations. James did not believe that the city met the legal requirements to sue under that act.
Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker said officials were going to consider all of their options, including an appeal. Appealing would require City Council approval.
“We’re disappointed,” she said Thursday, “but we have strong convictions about the harm Oakland will suffer and is already beginning to suffer as a result of the forfeiture actions.”
Harborside Health Center’s owner, Steve DeAngelo, echoed the sentiments of disappointment. In spite of it all, though, he is encouraged to have the city on his side. He said, “The message of Oakland’s lawsuit remains powerful and relevant: The city council and mayor have determined that if Harborside Health Center is closed, the entire city will be harmed.”