Yesterday was a disappointing day for the Pelletier family, although, not totally unexpected. The ruling (why the judge needed to wait until past 4:30 pm to fax his ruling to the family, I will never understand) was initially reported by the Globe as ‘Permanent Custody Awarded to the State’ but was later tempered by a more detailed update by the Globe and by a comment from Mat Staver (the family’s Liberty Counsel attorney) who said this was a disappointing ruling but permanent custody (at least in the way it was implied) was not the result of the ruling.
In a nutshell, the judge, in the midst of repeatedly chiding the state of Connecticut for not having the decency to take this case off his hands, sided wholly with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and Boston Children’s Hospital. He awarded custody of Justina to the state, retroactive to December. The parents will be able to petition for custody 6 months from that date – which puts another hearing into May or June. Essentially, the judge washed his hands of Justina for the next few months – leaving the decision up to DCF in the meantime.
They can keep Justina or send her home or do whatever they want with her until the next hearing. It seems highly unlikely they will send her home when the family will never admit this child’s symptoms are in her head nor should they. DCF/BCH has made it perfectly clear that accepting the Somatoform diagnosis is part of the deal to get her back and it is doubtful they will ever accept anything less than 100% compliance. Honestly, when you read the ruling, there seems to be an awful lot of petty spite and childishness on the part of such powerful government entities.
Fortunately, the family has a strong legal team in the form of Liberty Counsel. Although the Blaze has reported that Mat Staver has been denied permission to formally represent the family in Judge Johnston’s kangaroo court, he is on the case nonetheless. (Don’t get me started on how ridiculous it is that the court is denying his motion to become their counsel – since when did the accuser get to decide who represents the accused??) Before this ruling even was released, Mat had filed a contempt of court against DCF for not getting Justina medical treatment. In February, the Judge ordered Justina’s medical care to be transferred to Tufts, where her Mito specialists are. That has never happened.
Last weekend, Justina was taken to the ER. Not to Tufts as ordered, but Mass. General. The parents still do not know why or what the result of that visit was and are not allowed to talk to Justina about it. After this past Friday’s scheduled weekly visit, the family was so concerned about Justina’s declining condition and the lack of action by DCF to address it, they released photos of the obvious infection around Justina’s port and her hair loss. These concerns are what led to filing the contempt motion prior to yesterday’s ruling. The family’s legal team is planning on taking this to a higher court to move this along, because time is of the essence…
Putting it bluntly, Justina is running out of time. She has been over a year without her Mito treatment. She is experiencing some of the worst stress a person could live through, which exacerbates her physical symptoms. The physical decline Justina is experiencing is precisely what we would expect for someone with Mito. Conversely, if she truly was being medically abused by her parents, we would expect at least modest improvement since she has been out of their custody for over a year. That, of course, has not happened. Yet DCF clings to their power over this innocent pawn in their heinous game.
As you can see in the photo released by the family, those red lines are a sign that something serious is happening. FYI, those pictures were taken a couple weeks ago – her condition has reportedly worsened since then. That kind of infection can be life-threatening. But, DCF believes it is all in her head so no need to take action!
The actual ruling from the judge has been released, so we have some idea what he was thinking. I am going to do a second post, commenting on the various parts of the ruling, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my humble little opinion. His written ruling (apparently the ONLY written ruling he has made in this case that has dragged on for more than 13 months) reveals that he is simply taking DCF’s word, who is taking BCH’s word that Justina is not physically ill but instead, mentally ill.
Remember that Massachusetts DCF has no medical director of its own. So, who is affirming for the court the correctness of the doctors’ diagnosis at Boston Children’s? Doctors at Boston Children’s. BCH conveniently provides that service for free for the DCF. A bit of a conflict of interest, to say the least! How can a judge not demand an independent medical opinion in a case like this? SHAME on him for perpetuating this reprehensible system DCF has created.
Justina is not allowed to speak for herself and her court appointed legal counsel is hired by the state which profits from having custody of her. There is no one speaking for Justina. There is NO ONE in power in the state of Massachusetts who is looking out for anything but their own self interest. The judge is supposed to be an impartial, unbiased abitrator. He. Is. Not.
There are some ridiculous statements in his ruling and I am going to pick them apart one by one in my next post…
In the meantime, please keep praying for Justina and her family. I, unfortunately, can begin to imagine how they feel and where they are drawing their strength and I know many of you understand this as well. They have no choice but to fight for their daughter until she is safe at home. They have my support, 100% and more.