Motions in a neighbor's case against a Sheppard Pratt group home have been delayed by a technicality.
In March, Ruxton resident Thomas Costello filed the suit against Sheppard Pratt Health System, subsidiary Mosaic Community Services and the state Department of Health and Mental Hygeine.
Costello alleges that the planned $650-per-day group home on 1506 LaBelle Ave. is a for-profit "hotel" for higher-income Sheppard Pratt patients, and is in violation of state law.
But because Ruxton resident Thomas Costello did not include his wife in the case, Judge John B. Fader II said he had no jurisdiction to hear the case during a civil motions hearing Wednesday morning.
Fader's position stems from hundreds of years of jurisprudence on joint property ownership. Maryland, unlike most states, considers property interest jointly held.
"The case law is replete with the fact that it is a joint property interest," Fader said.
Unless Costello could claim in his complaint a personal injury or some other damages, Fader said he is prohibited from hearing the case.
"I know you feel strongly about this, but that's not going to change this law," Fader said.
He said he didn't have an opinion on the substance of the complaint yet.
Fader gave Costello 30 days to amend his complaint to add his wife, and scheduled another hearing for Dec. 11.