Contempt of Court Motion Filed against Massachusetts DCF

Mar 24, 2014

LC.org

Boston, MA – Today, A contempt of court motion was filed against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) in the Justina Pelletier case.

Three weeks ago on March 3, Judge Joseph Johnston approved a written agreement transferring care to Tufts Medical Center. Despite this enforceable order, DCF still has not made appointments with Tufts. The Pelletiers have spoken several times to Dr. Korson, who was treating Justina before this debacle began, and they obtained an appointment date. Dr. Korson said that he wants to see Justina and resume her treatment immediately, but on Friday, March 21, DCF said it will not honor any appointments with Tufts until the judge rules on Tuesday.

“A child’s health and welfare are hanging in the balance. We cannot continue to withhold treatment from this young girl,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is obvious to everyone but DCF that this disease is physical, not psychiatric. DCF should stop delaying, obey the court order, and send her to Tufts for medical treatment today!” Staver continued.

The Pelletiers are preparing other legal pleadings to remove DCF from this case.  “DCF has abused its authority. DCF had no right to come between Justina and medical care,” Staver said.

Last Monday, Mat Staver was in court before Judge Johnston. Two matters were brought up: (1) Staver’s (second) motion to be admitted to the case, and (2) a request to return Justina home to the parents. Judge Johnston said he would rule on both matters by the end of the week. On Friday afternoon, the clerk of the court stated the judge will rule next Tuesday. In 14 months, Judge Johnston has not issued a single written opinion. He continually kicks the can down the road.

On February 24, Mat Staver first appeared in the Boston court seeking to represent the family. DCF objected. The judge said that DCF had 48 hours to file any written objections. DCF did not, but the judge did not rule. “The delay tactics, hoping that the press will lose interest in this case, must cease. Justina must be returned to her parents’ custody and Tufts’ care,” Staver said.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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