BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mental Health Commissioner Ann Marie T. Sullivan to prevent them from moving the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center (CPC) from its current West Seneca facility.
The order follows the organization 'Coalition to Save the Children's Psychiatric Center' filing a lawsuit with HoganWillig Attorneys last week against the decision to close the West Seneca Facility and combine it with the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, according to a news release from the attorney's office.
Former patients, staff, and community groups site medical and safety issues with the decision to close the West Seneca facility.
It also comes after NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan (R) and NYS Assemblyman Mickey Kearns (D) called on the governor and state to keep the children's facility in West Seneca open. The two lawmakers introduced bills that passed unanimously in both the Assembly and Senate to prevent the merger.
The order issued by Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto Monday temporarily "restrains" the governor from vetoing the bills to prevent the transfer of patients from the CPC to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
The decision also blocks Commissioner Sullivan from taking "any step to discontinue or relocate" the CPC.
Kearns released the following statement following the announcement:
"The decision by Judge Panepinto is another step to save our children. We have the support from the entire NYS Legislature, the community, and now we have support from the courts. I’m hopeful Governor Cuomo will take this action as yet another indication to sign the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center bill, which passed unanimously in the Assembly and Senate and needs to be signed into law immediately.”
A full hearing will be held before Justice Panepinto on Thursday, July 27.