Boston, MA â€“ Tuesday, Judge Joseph Johnston ruled that the custody of Justina will remain with Massachusetts DCF until a future hearing, which could not be set any earlier than May 20. â€œOnce again, the court is kicking the can down the road. This is unacceptable,â€ said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
â€œDCF has no right to hold Justina like a prisoner. We will pursue every legal means to end this tragedy,â€ said Staver.
Fourteen months ago, Justina, now fifteen years old, was essentially kidnapped by Massachusetts DCF after her parents took her to Boston Childrenâ€™s Hospital (BCH) to see Dr. Flores, a physician who had treated Justina before at Tufts Medical Center for gastrointestinal problems.
For fourteen months DCF has refused to provide adequate medical care, refused to allow Justina access to a clergy or communion, and even refused to provide any meaningful education for her.
In January of 2013, before she was admitted to the ER at BCH, Justina was involved in ice-skating competitions and was in a private school under an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for a learning disability. Now she is weak and in a wheelchair. Without any education, she has fallen at least two years behind her classmates. DCF has allowed the parents only one hour per week to visit their daughter, but always with a DCF worker or workers present. DCF has prevented the parents from taking a cell phone in to photograph their daughter. Last month, DCF even filed a motion to hold Lou Pelletier in contempt of court for speaking to the national media.
â€œIn all my years in practice, I have never seen a more barbaric overreach by a state agency,â€ Staver said. â€œThe family has asked us to pursue every legal means necessary to get their daughter home. Liberty Counsel will file an appeal or a habeas corpus petition,â€ said Staver.