Can a team of advocates for transsexuality, from a school district and a medical services organization to county social workers, simply decide that a 17-year-old minor is “emancipated” from his parents and go ahead with male-to-female sex-change treatments with no further permission?
That’s the question being asked in a lawsuit against St. Louis County in Minnesota, its public health chief Linnea Mirsch, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis County School District, Cherry School Principal Michael Johnson and others.
“This is an outrageous abuse of power by multiple agencies,” said Tom Brejcha, chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which is working with local attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson of Minneapolis on the case.
“To treat a minor child without either parental consent or a court order of emancipation is a violation of the trust placed upon the human service sector and its governmental oversight agencies. To give a parent no recourse to intervene in this situation is an egregious violation of constitutional rights,” Brejcha said.
When the case first appeared in court, a district judge refused the juvenile’s petition for a change of name, from a male name to a female name, for “lack of any adjudication relative to emancipation.”
Spokeswoman Dana Kazel of St. Louis County said the county hadn’t been served “with any documents related to a lawsuit purportedly filed.”
“A review of district court filings conducted this morning also did not yield any results,” she said.
School Supt. Steve Sallee also said he had not been served.
But the complaint, posted online, argued the defendants have worked together to provide the minor, identified only as JDK, with funds for living, health consultations, legal consultations, medical treatments and more – all without any legal adjudication that JDK is emancipated.
That means, the lawsuit contends, JDK’s biological mother and custodial parent, Anmarie Calgaro, has suffered a multitude of violations of her constitutional parental rights.
The legal team explained that the defendants have been providing “transgender services and narcotic drugs without her parental consent.”
Also, the defendants have treated JDK as emancipated even though there has been no “court action to that effect.”
“Calgaro’s parental involvement has been repeatedly circumvented as it concerns her 17-year old son,” Thomas More explained in a statement about the new case.
“This interference is despite Minnesota’s strong legal tradition of protecting parental rights. In June of 2015, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Clinic advised the boy that he was emancipated without a court order; however no legal action has been taken to terminate his mother’s parental rights.”
At the same time, “two medical service providers Park Nicollet Minneapolis Gender Services and Fairview provided the minor child medical treatment for a sex change from male to female and for prescribed narcotics, respectively.”
“The medical services and were paid for through St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services.”
Further, the case asserts: “The St. Louis County Schools, Independent School District 2142, is also treating the child as an emancipated minor, something he is not. The school district is classifying the boy as an adult with exclusive rights to information and decision-making. They are denying Calgaro access to his educational records or any legal authority to affect his educational decision-making.”
Kaardal explained: “Ms. Calgaro as a Minnesota parent is entitled to notice and hearing when parental rights regarding a minor child are terminated. Regarding emancipation, the courts recognize a common law right for a teenager to petition for emancipation; but, the courts do not recognize a corresponding common law right for a parent to petition to de-emancipate a teenager. Thus, Minnesota statutes constitutionally err by allowing a medical service provider to treat a teenager as emancipated without a court order and without providing parents a post-deprivation process to challenge the medical service provider’s determination of emancipation. Similarly, the county’s and school district’s determinations of the teenager’s emancipation without a court order violate the parent’s right to notice and a hearing; but, unlike the medical service providers, the county and the school district do not have a statute to pin their unconstitutional conduct on.”
Also stepping up in the case was the Minnesota Child Protection League, which aims to protect children from “exploitation, indoctrination and violence.”
The complaint states: “Ms. Calgaro seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and damages under 42 U.S.C. [Paragraph] 1983 for the loss of ther right to due process which directly affected her parental rights over her minor child. She seeks further relief necessary to prevent the defendants from offering any additional services to her minor children without parental consent until she has had an opportunity in state court to petition to restore all or part of her parental rights before an emancipation is adjudicated before a court of law.”
The complaint specifies the damages being sought are at least $75,000 per defendant.
“Although Minnesota common law recognizes a minor child’s right to petition for emancipation, there is no Minnesota common law cause of action for a parent to bring in court to restore full or partial parental rights once a child is emancipated for medical services without a court order,” it explains.
Further, such an emancipation petition hasn’t yet been brought. Nor has there been any reason, the complaint says.
“JDK has never been involved in Child In Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) petition court proceedings, foster placement, court proceedings, child protection court proceedings nor child custody court proceedings.”
“As a parent, Ms. Calgaro has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of her children,” the complaint cites. It quotes the U.S. Supreme Court, which said, “We have recognized on numerous occasions the relationship between parent and child is constitutionally protected.”
At all times, the defendants knew their actions “effectively terminated the protected constitutional parental rights of Ms. Calgaro … violated the federal due process rights of Ms. Calgaro,” the lawsuit charges.