"Suffering the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune"

As stated in my previous post, on March 25th the judge ruled in favor of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and granted them custody of Justina Pelletier, with another hearing to challenge that ruling scheduled in June. In that previous post, I shared the deep concern the family has about Justina’s deteriorating physical condition. The family is fighting for this child’s life, literally, they believe and I believe them.

It is pretty clear that the family will be taking further legal action in the days ahead, but I am taking some time and examining Judge Joseph Johnston’s ruling, point by point. You can find the first half of my commentary on the first part of the Judges ruling “A) Efforts to Return Justina to Connecticut {In Which Connecticut Does Not Play Nice}” here. Please read that before you read Part 2.

If you do not already have the scanned copy of Judge Johnston’s ruling pulled up for reference after reading Part 1, you can find it here. I would encourage you to have that document pulled up while you read and refer to it for the full text of Johnston’s comments. It is an, um, enlightening document, to say the least. I have tried to copy his words exactly, placing ellipses where I skip wording that is not important to understand the text, at least for the purposes of this post. My thoughts are in the purple text.

Warning: You will encounter snark in this post.

The Ruling of Judge Joseph Johnston in the Case of Justina Pelletier (Part 2)

B. Custody                                                                                                                                                                                                   {In Which There is Much Whining by Judge Joseph Johnston}

11. Justina was ready for discharge from the BCH psychiatric unit in June 2013. She remained there an additional 7 months because efforts by the MA DCF… were significantly hampered by the parents. While Justina was at BCH, the parents were verbally abusive to Justina’s hospital providers…. The parents threatened to have hospital personnel’s licenses revoked. They threatened to call the FBI. They called hospital personnel ‘Nazi’s’ and claimed the hospital was punishing and killing Justina. Efforts…to work with the parents were futile and never went anywhere.

Wow, Judge, so much ‘Wah’, so little time. Ok, so, DCF is so incompetent that they couldn’t find anywhere to stick Justina, making her stay on the Bader 5 psych ward months longer than she should have? It seems like there is some serious finger pointing going on here. We the People just need to know that DCF didn’t screw up and you didn’t screw up, it was all the parents’ fault. 

Egads, Judge, are you serious when you say these parents had the nerve to call the esteemed staff at BCH ‘Nazis’? Woe is they. Poor precious darlings, being called names like that, after unleashing DCF on this family for merely disagreeing with the psych diagnosis and wanting a second opinion.

Gasp, the parents surely didn’t threaten to have the licenses of the very people who stole their child in cold blood revoked. How could they? 😥 

It is absurd that a parent would call the FBI when their child has been KIDNAPPED and is being PUNISHED and KILLED! How silly of them to think the FBI would come to their rescue. I mean, how dare they threaten to call the FBI!

How could those people not smile, hum a happy tune and cheerfully accept the removal of their youngest child from their custody and be calm, cool and collected as she is denied medical care for her real medical condition and told she is crazy? If only they would have gone along, efforts to work with them and show them the error of their ways might have ‘gone somewhere’. Judge, we bow to your wisdom, it is indeed unreasonable for parents to object to the State stealing their child.

Their response should have been “Oh, goodness gracious. I must confess, I am a little uncomfortable with you saying I am an awful abusive parent. However, I completely see your point, now that you mention it, and I am SO relieved you have taken my child for safe keeping. You can count on my total cooperation in convincing this child she is crazy and not ill. Thank you for showing me the light!” 

Instead, the ungrateful creatures vigorously objected and just would not shut up about it. Good thing you trashed the Constitution and gagged them! After all, it is for their own good, right? 

12. Since…Dec. 20, 2013, this court has considered granting conditional custody to Justina’s parents. Unfortunately, there has not been any progress by the parents… The parents… continue to engage in very concerning conduct that does not give this court any confidence they will comply with conditions of custody.

You mean, they have not accepted the brainwashing you are so generously offering.

Recently, the MA DCF social worker has been removed from the case due to allegations that Mr. Pelletier threatened him.

Um, not to be encouraging violence or anything, but I think said social worker should be thanking God or his lucky stars or whatever he believes in that he wasn’t SHOT as many parents would be inclined to do at this point. If all Lou did was threaten this individual, he deserves a medal. If it was YOUR daughter, Judge, would YOU be perfectly calm and civil if you thought she was being mistreated? I think not. 

Again, you expect us to believe that caseworkers/social workers are never threatened by parents? A stray angry comment, spoken in the heat of the moment by a distraught parent, has never before been uttered? You people are surprised when parents are angry and frustrated and distraught when you ruthlessly rip their child from their arms?

If you have made it your mission to take kids away from their parents, I would suggest that you grow a thicker skin and be prepared for rude, yes, even threatening, comments to come your way.

(Just for the record, Lou Pelletier admits to losing his temper and yelling at times, but denies threatening the social worker.)

Visits between Justina and her parents were postponed and rescheduled at a different location because media stations were broadcasting reports outside the DCF office at the time of the visit. It was reported in the media that Justina would be moved to a foster home…As a result of the media report, that agency withdrew its agreement to place Justina… This is yet another example of the parents, either directly or indirectly impeding the progress in this case. Instead of engaging in quality visits with Justina, the parents use profanity directed at the MA DCF personnel in Justina’s presence. There is absolutely no meaningful dialogue by the parents to work towards reunification.

So, the Pelletiers control the media too? They forced the reporters to park in front of DCF and give a report? How the heck is this their fault? Yes, they went to the media and broke your little gag order, but I feel compelled to point out that the media only reports what it wants to report. Apparently they find DCF fascinating right now. Wonder why that is?

It seems like you are doing more finger pointing, saying it is ALL Lou and Linda’s fault. But, you know what they say, whenever you point your finger there are 3 more pointing right back at you…

And, are you seriously wanting us to believe that the DCF personnel have never been cussed at? Never ever heard a cuss word? Ooooh, poor widdle DCF workers, dey got der widdle fweewings hurted!

Are you seriously wanting us to believe that the biggest problem Justina has right now is her parents cussing in front of her? THIS is why you awarded custody to MA DCF? To the same agency that LOST 134 children? That had 95 children DIE in their care since 2001? The same agency that gives kids back to crack smoking, heroine shooting, drug dealing, gang banging parents then says ‘Oops! We have no idea why THAT went wrong?  

You, the mighty Commonwealth of Massachusetts, are ‘hurt’ by some parents who don’t toe your line and you punish them for it? Nice.

13. At the Feb 4, 2014 hearing, the parents were in agreement with a temp. custody order with the CT DCF and placement…in a CT program. Then, on March 14, an attorney from …Liberty Counsel…indicated the parents would be taking a radically different position. On March 17, 2014, the parents filed a joint proposed conditional custody order… These vacillating positions concerning issues of utmost importance are very troubling to this court.

Well, sir, the vacillating positions of this court concerning issues of utmost importance which you have not ever deemed necessary to write down are very troubling to this family and to people around the world who are watching this travesty unfold.

Honestly, THIS is your reasoning for awarding custody to DCF? You don’t like the family’s counsel and/ or positions in the impossible situation YOU have put them in? You are going to punish them for not going along like sweet little lambs to the slaughter? After delay after delay, knowing that, in the end, they CANNOT win this game, you fault them for taking a different legal approach?  Very troubling indeed.

Seems like you feel these two parents are awfully powerful foes… They just have to whisper and ‘programs’ around the region whimper in fear. They have complete control over the media – what and where the reports decide to report. They can subdue hospital providers into a jello like puddle by name calling and by the mere threat of a complaint. All of Boston Children’s shuts down because the parents threaten to call the FBI. They offend the tender ears of the DCF workers by saying naughty words. They even have the nerve to bring in a lawyer who could wipe the floor with you and the DCF lawyers, if you would allow him to speak.

Yup, those are some BAD people you are fighting there. Good thing you are on the case and can teach them a lesson by giving custody of their daughter to the state.

14. …I grant the MA DCF custody of Justina subject to…a review and redetermination…six months from…December 20, 2013. 

Of course you do, because of all that voluminous evidence. Well, that and the fact that the parents have defiantly thumbed their noses at you. Gosh, hopefully Justina is still alive by then and her parents have accepted the fact that she isn’t sick, just flippin’ crazy. THEN we could get somewhere.

15. …Psychological and clinical evaluations of the parents are necessary… These are evaluations, along with other services, that must be coordinated by the CT DCF for this CT family.

a) Wait, are you really suggesting the parents be evaluated NOW (or whenever CT gets around to it), 13+ months into this case? Why not 1 month in? or 2? Or 5? or 8? or 10? Shouldn’t that have been done months ago? And we are supposed to believe there is a real desire for reunification on your part?

b) And we come full circle back to : “Conneticut, WHY will you NOT take this @&!$%&#*%*&%$#*@#$ CASE OFF MY HANDS??? Connecticut, Do YOU HEAR ME? CONNECTICUTTTTTTTT! “



If people wanted



This case is beyond outrageous. This ruling is beyond outrageous. This child is being used as a pawn to punish the parents because the parents didn’t ‘accept’ that their child is crazy. I quote Katie Higgins, the Bader 5 whistle blower, “Any caregiver who failed to respond to their child’s complaints of pain; who chose instead to isolate and imprison their child to “force her to accept that she was not in need of medical attention”, would be accused of emotional abuse and medical neglect of their child.” Yet, the judge not only looks the other way when Boston Children’s and DCF does this, he facilitates their abusive behavior!

I predict this judge is going to discover his whining, hands off, finger pointing, the buck-certainly-doesn’t-stop-here attitude is going to come back to haunt him. Unfortunately, Justina continues to decline in a cold, unfeeling psychiatric facility, away from her mother, father, sisters, grandmother, friends and pets. Every night, over 400 of them, she sleeps in a bed that is not her own. Every morning, over 400 of them, she wakes counting the minutes until she see her family for one hour that week.

And any punishment for the criminals who have done this to her is too far in the future to be anything but cold comfort.



Comments on: "The #FreeJustina Court Ruling Part 2" (7)

  1. Does the family have the ability to access Justina’s medical records from Boston?

    • I have to assume not… Since she is not in their custody, they probably have no access. They would have to have permission from DCF who is Justina’s guardian. I do know they were not told why Justina was taken to the ER or what happened there and were instructed not to ask her about it. And, with this latest ruling, they really have no rights at all.

      • It’s a sad representation of DCFS. 😞 They do a lot of good, are underpaid, and have large case loads… but saying they messed up here is an understatement!

        • I agree that many in the child welfare system really do care about kids. But, having read up about the policies that are in place, I would say the whole system needs to be revamped – from top to bottom. The financial incentives for taking kids away from their families is wrong – obviously they need a budget and that budget is somewhat dependent on the number of people they are working with. But, we have to reset the system so no one is profiting and so that there is some real oversight. I do feel like many, if not most, people get into social work to truly help others – but the system sucks them in and they have no choice to play by the rules of the game. I feel for those who want to do good but are tarnished by the bad apples.

          • I agree with all of what you said. Here comes a rambling of thoughts.

            They also need to quit cutting the Department of Human Services budget, while at the same time, doing things like start offering a program to neuter people’s pets for free. Really? That is more important than children? Sometimes tax payers don’t want to give more money to DHS because they think DHS = food stamps = lazy people, choosing to be poor. That’s not true, but even if it was, DHS does so much!! Politicians probably won’t get tons of votes by saying we should give DHS more money, so who knows what it’ll take for it to change.

            Caseworkers have an unbelievable caseload, the client load keeps getting bigger and the number of case works keeps getting smaller. There is nothing they can do, nor their supervisors. They need more money so they can have more staff and also to pay a team of people who have been in the field for years to do nothing but revamp the program. They are definitely are underpaid for the amount of stress they endure and they go into it because they want to help, and most times they do. It’s not an excuse for this situation, I just don’t think they deserve a bad rep overall. My profession is/was social services and my best friend worked for DCFS — you wouldn’t believe the things I’ve heard or the number of situations dealt with on any given day — I’m almost impossible to shock with a story. At the same time, this story has shocked me.

            A lot of the rules seem stupid in this case with such a nice family, but I can think of many situations I’ve seen where the same rules may have saved a child’s life. As a caseworker, you want to bend rules when you can see they are hurting not helping… but legally you can’t.

            It’s just a bad situation all around.

  2. Keep going! We have a son with Ehlers Danlos 3, whose diagnosis ( finally ) forced my own ( duh, boy did I feel like an idjit ). There being no one handy to lock me up, I’ve been busy writing info-mercials to the various pseudo medical professionals who called my son a liar and myself a crippled kinda Munchausen. We had/have an awesome PCP, accidently ran into an open minded urgent care center and got a response from a top-flight medical center I wrote to in desperation- also had the backup of our school, thank God. Justina’s case is beyond scary- I see every smug, cold eyed witch who told us to go home, my son just did not like school and b*tched at us for wasting valuable ER time ( although certainly collected the fees, so no idea how we managed to waste anyone’s time, sure looked paid in full to me ).

    Medical kidnapping is medical arrogance taken to extreme,how dare someone question a diagnosis from On High, or challenge these highly trained professionals, it’s unthinkable. Poor Justina is a tool, an extension of someone’s missing equipment elsewhere, the problem perhaps being a surfeit of teeny equipment apparently, must be some kind of epidemic up there in Boston.

    Any one of us could be there now- and so we are, at least in spirit. Wish there was more we could DO from out here. I guess just please keep talking about it, disallow the story from sliding off the front page. Thanks for the blog- as I said, keep going! Snarky or no, it’s something.

    • I know sooo many people who have had accusations of Munchausens made. It is awful. And if it isn’t an actual accusation, it is at least the implication that you are faking, making it up, attention seeking, drug seeking and so on. I always say, making an EDS diagnosis can’t be THAT hard – little old me, with no medical training diagnosed my daughter! Surely a doctor with some training SHOULD be able to figure it out!

      Anyone who lives with chronic illness takes Justina’s case very seriously. We all know it could be us – but at least now we know there is an army of people who will stand and fight with us!

      Thanks so much for the kind words and for reading!

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