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Lindsay Lohan

Scores Rehab Victory ... Maybe

5/2/2013 7:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0502-tmz-judge-dabney-merk-hellerLindsay Lohan may have gotten away with it again ... she checked into a rehab facility that was NEVER approved by prosecutors and the judge seems like he's down with the change.

TMZ broke the story ... Lindsay checked into Morningside Recovery this morning in Newport Beach.  As we previously reported ... prosecutors and Lindsay's lawyer, Mark Heller -- who wore a tie that could itself be a felony -- had agreed she would enroll in Seafield Center in Westhampton Beach, NY.  Heller never gave prosecutors a heads-up that Lindsay was flying to CA last night to enroll in Morningside.

As we reported, Lindsay made the change because Seafield wouldn't let her smoke at the facility ... but smoking was permitted at Morningside. 

A furious prosecutor -- Santa Monica City Attorney Terry White -- clearly felt blindsided by the change, saying he learned about it from the media yesterday.  White also expressed misgivings about Morningside, saying he found 3 articles "condemning" the facility.

050213_lohan_prosecutor_launch
As for what prosecutor White was talking about ... in 2012 State investigators suspended Morningside's license for allegedly being careless with prescription drugs.  And at least 9 families of patients reportedly sued the facility for failing to deliver treatment.  At the time, a State official called Morningside, "a substantial threat" to the health and safety of the public.

But Judge Jim Dabney looked at some of the paperwork about Morningside and said on its face it seemed like the rehab joint was acceptable, but he's giving prosecutors a week from Friday to investigate.

For now, Lindsay will stay at Morningside -- where she can smoke as many cigarettes as she wants.

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