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Habeas Corpus for Justina

April 16, 2014 permalink

Lawyers for the Pelletier family have filed a habeas corpus petition to get their daughter Justina out of Massachusetts foster care. Maybe this is on the advice of legal team member Alan Dershowitz.



Pelletiers' Attorneys File Request To Have Justina Returned

A judge decided Tuesday to give custody of Justina Pelletier to the state of Massachusetts. FOX CT's Beau Berman has more.

Attorneys for the parents of Justina Pelletier have filed a request that the 15-year-old girl be released from the custody of Massachusetts and returned to her family.

"Massachusetts DCF has no right to hold Justina captive," said Mat Staver, attorney for the Pelletiers, in a press release. "This is unacceptable. Justina needs to return home,"

Attorneys for the Pelletiers, who live in West Hartford, said they filed the habeas corpus Monday with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. They argue that Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has no authority to hold Justina and is violating the rights of Lou and Linda Pelletier, Justina's parents.

Justina has been in the custody of the state of Massachusetts since February 2013, shortly after she was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital to see her doctor, who had recently transferred from Tufts. Instead of her physician, other doctors treated her and disagreed with the family that Justina's symptoms — including weakness, headaches and abdominal pain — were caused by mitochondrial disease, a diagnosis she received at Tufts Medical Center in 2011.

Doctors at Boston Children's, however, said they believed her symptoms were psychologically induced Justina was diagnosed with somatoform disorder, a mental disorder. Boston Children's officials reported their suspicions of medical child abuse, and the state has since refused to release Justina to her parents.

Last month, Judge Joseph Johnston ruled in Massachusetts juvenile court that Justina was to remain the custody of Massachusetts.

The teen has been at Wayside Youth & Family Support Network since late January, and responsibility for her medical care has been returned to Tufts.

Source: Hartford Courant