May 26, 2017
St. Paul – On Tuesday, May 23rd, St. Paul District Judge Paul Magnuson dismissed all claims against state and county agencies and a private health facility, ruling that Anmarie Calgaro civil rights were NOT violated despite the fact that these entities treated her minor son as an adult, providing services and benefits to him without her knowledge or consent.
Last November, Anmarie Calgaro filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the state agencies, the school, and the private health services, claiming that each had deprived her of her constitutional parental rights by treating her son as an emancipated minor. Calgaro asked the courts to declare that her due process rights under the 14th amendment of the Constitution had been violated, and to fully restore them.
By dismissing all charges, Judge Magnuson’s decision turned a blind eye to a systemic and dangerous legal reality in Minnesota. Under current state law, minors are considered “emancipated” if they can support themselves and if they are living independently. Under this practice, no court hearing is required; parents are not required to be notified nor be given an opportunity to have their day in court. Clearly, parents’ constitutional rights are being violated, but this practice leaves parents with no recourse. In every other situation involving the loss of parental rights, such as adoption, divorce, or the involvement of child protection services, a court hearing is necessary.
The court ruling is bizarre and contradictory. “Only a court order can do so [terminate Calgaro’s parental rights]”, wrote Judge Magnuson. “Absent that, Calgaro’s parental rights over [her son] remain intact. The court will therefore not further entertain Calgaro’s characterization of Defendants’ actions as ‘determining [her son] emancipated.’”
How do Calgaro’s parental rights “remain intact” when she has been denied access to his school and medical records, and the organizations she named in her lawsuit have treated her minor son as “emancipated” for two years?
Calgaro has been denied access to her son’s school records, because the school will not recognize her parental rights. Without her consent, the county is providing her son, a minor, with general assistance, enabling him to live independently. Without her knowledge or consent, health services are providing her son medical treatment, including prescribing narcotic drugs.
Anmarie Calgaro appealed to a federal court because her parental rights, and the rights of numerous other Minnesota parents, have been violated, but, incredibly, no state law has been broken. However, it is abundantly clear, her constitutional 14th amendment rights to due process have indeed been violated. And the court refused to address this issue.
Perhaps Calgaro’s case was too politically hot for the court to handle, because her minor son had also decided to be treated with hormones in an effort to ‘change’ his biological sex and to change his name. Ironically, two different courts refused to grant him a legal name change, because he did not have parental permission!
As much as the media would like to make you believe it, his sexual confusion is not the heart of this case.
This case challenges a Minnesota state law that violates the rights of parents to have their day in court if their minor child desires emancipation and immunity from his parents’ supervision and authority.
Judge Magnuson’s ruling in the Calgaro case has profound implications for parents, children and families. If left to stand, it allows the imperial hand of government to invade and undermine rightful and essential family authority, without a rational explanation.
Parents provide loving protection to minor children from the manipulation of adults who have no investment in the long-term welfare of their children. Minnesota state law and this ruling strip that protection away. This law empowers vulnerable young people to walk away from their families when disagreements or conflicts in the home occur. This law undermines families in profound and devastating ways.
If a minor child decides to walk away from his or her family, how young is too young? Current state law and this court, don’t clarify this either.
The Child Protection League is encouraging an appeal to this ruling to move forward immediately. CPL will continue to support Anmarie Calgaro in that critical legal challenge. Calgaro is fighting to protect and codify into law, our constitutionally protected parental rights. Please support her in her efforts, because she is fighting for you, too.