Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Amherst, VA - Families with loved ones at the Central Virginia Training Center are celebrating a small victory in their fight to keep the facility open.
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that training center residents have the right to stay in a state run facility. This gives training center residents some protection against the state's plan to close the training centers. This is what parents have been asking for all along, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
After months of waiting, and worrying the federal judge's ruling has given Atul Gupta some peace.
"The judge's ruling if you take it at face value says everybody who lives in training centers has the right to stay there," said Gupta whose daughter lives at CVTC.
It means his 12-year-old daughter Alisha can continue getting the skilled care she has grown up with. It is also a level of protection against the DOJ settlement with the state that called for closing CVTC along with three other training centers. But Gupta is cautiously optimistic.
"The document is not out there so there are a lot of unknowns out there," he said.
Uncertainties like: Which training center will be available to residents? Will CVTC stay open to meet the needs of current residents or will residents be sent to the only facility not slated for closure South Eastern Virginia Training Center?
But here lies another problem. The facility only has 75 beds not nearly enough to house the 1,000 training center residents in the state like Alisha.
"It means they will need more than 75 beds available at the Southeastern Virginia Training Center so where will those beds be?" asked Gupta.
The judge's ruling only applies to CURRENT training center residents. Gupta says that's not fair to other parents' right to choose.
"It should be an open door whichever way you want to do. If you look at choice it means among the available options," he said.
Judge John Gibney plans to meet with the DOJ and the Commonwealth on June 29. They will all discuss the changes made in the DOJ settlement and how this will affect training center residents.