A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Minnesota mother against her teenage child along with school officials and healthcare providers on the grounds that they violated her parental rights by treating her son with a hormone therapy to start transitioning into a girl even though he hadn't been granted court approval to be legally emancipated from his parents.
Senior U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson dismissed the suit this week, saying Anmarie Calgaro's claim was "meritless," according to the StarTribune.
Calgaro filed the suit, with the help of lawyers from the Thomas More Society last November, against St. Louis County, the St. Louis County School District, the county's Health and Human Services, Fairview Health Services and Park Nicollet Health Services, accusing the parties of usurping her parental rights by granting her 17-year-old son de-facto emancipation from his mother even though a court never awarded his son legal emancipation.
Her son will turn 18 this summer.
The lawsuit challenged a state law that allows minors to access medical care and procedures without their parent's consent.
Although the emancipation has no legal standing in court and the St. Louis County District Court ruled in January that the child could not even change his legal name without parental permission, the school district, the department of health and human services and the medical providers all treated Calgaro's son as if he was legally emancipated from his mother and wouldn't give Calgaro any access to his records or decision-making ability in regards to his health or education.
Moreover, she was not consulted before the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services paid for Park Nicollet Minneapolis Gender Services to give the boy hormone replacement treatment and Fairview Health Services to provide him with narcotics.
The mother's lawyer, Erick Kaardal, was quoted as saying that Calgaro is considering an appeal. He also maintained that the agencies' actions constituted a form of "administrative emancipation" that violated the mother's parental rights. "On the legislative front, people on the left and on the right believed that emancipation procedures in Minnesota should be put in statutes and codified," he said. "But until then, it's confusing and the court's decision hasn't cleared up that confusion."
The lawyer earlier explained, "Under the judicial website, you will see that the court says that if you are a teenager, you can file a common law petition for emancipation. That's fine. But here, J.D.K. (as the son was named in the lawsuit) didn't need that court petition for emancipation because the governmental agencies here — the school district, the county, other state agencies — just treated him as emancipated anyway. So, if there had been a court order on emancipation, then Anmarie would have received a notice of opportunity to be heard. But here, because of the way the county operates, the way state operates, the way the school district operates, the way the medical providers operate, Anmarie doesn't have any right to notice to be heard in court."
Calgaro earlier said, "I believe my constitutional civil rights to have my case heard in a court of law has been stripped from me. If this had been a child custody case, I would have had my day in court. If my son were being placed in foster care, I would have had my day in court. Or if he had been referred to child protection, I would have had my day in court.
"I am firmly committed to what is best for me son. I am his mother and he has always been and always will be welcome in our home," she added. "As a mother, I know his physical and emotional needs in a way no one else can. I also have a commitment to him that no one else has. I feel that not only was I robbed of the opportunity to help and guide my son make good decisions but I also feel that he was robbed of a key advocate in his life — his mother."