On November 16, 2016, a Minnesota mother filed suit against St. Louis County and other agencies for usurping her parental rights over her minor son, who has been receiving transgender services and narcotic drugs without her parental consent. Anmarie Calgaro's child has been handled by the defendants as an emancipated minor despite no court action to that effect.
According to her suit, Minnesota law provides Calgaro no recourse to challenge the emancipation status, which is a violation of her rights as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. She is being represented by attorneys from the not-for-profit public interest law firm the Thomas More Society, along with Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A. Named as defendants in Calgaro's lawsuit are St. Louis County, the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Director, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis County School District, the principal of the Cherry School and her minor son.
Calgaro's parental involvement has been repeatedly circumvented as it concerns her 17-year old son. 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 had been taken to terminate his mother's parental rights.
With the same disregard for parental consent, 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 were paid for through St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services.
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.
Ironically, the boy's application for a name change was denied by the St. Louis County District Court because of the "lack of any adjudication relative to emancipation."
"This is an outrageous abuse of power by multiple agencies," stated Tom Brejcha, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society. "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."
The filing notes:
- Calgaro's son is being given unauthorized services and narcotic drugs without either parental consent or a court order of emancipation.
- Minnesota law violates Calgaro's federal right to due process because she has no ability to challenge the service providers' actions without either parental consent or a court order of emancipation.
- Calgaro has no path to object to her son's life-changing operation under Minnesota law.
- Minnesota courts recognize that a minor child is not emancipated until a court decides the child is emancipated.
- The son has filed two petitions to establish a female name. Those requests have been denied because he has no court order of emancipation.
Kaardal summarized, "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."
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