CCHR Applauds Judge for Upholding Detroit Mother Maryanne Godboldo’s Right to Protect Daughter from Forced Drugging

Despite prosecutors’ second attempt this year to bring criminal charges against Detroit mother Maryanne Godboldo, who underwent a 10 hour stand off with police for refusing to administer a powerful antipsychotric drug to her daughter, Wayne County District Judge Gregory Bill has become the second judge this year to dismiss the charges.

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Once Again, Detroit Prosecutors have attempted to bring criminal charges against Detroit mother Maryanne Godboldo. And once again, they have failed.

Five out of five judicial reviews found that Maryanne had the right to defend her home and child. That the prosecution refuses to end this attack is ample proof that she is being persecuted. - Attorney Allison Folmar

Detroit, MI (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

On July 11th, 2014, there was loud applause in the court when Wayne County District Judge, Gregory Bill, reaffirmed the dismissal of criminal charges against Detroit mother, Maryanne Godboldo for a second time this year. [Case No. 11057748, 36 District Court, Detroit, Michigan, filed 03/27/2011] [1] The mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), applauds Judge Bill in upholding Maryanne’s right to protect her daughter from forced psychiatric drugging.

In March 2011, the Maryanne Godboldo case garnered international headlines when images of a SWAT team, tanks and a helicopter, showed up at the home of a Detroit mother after she refused to administer an antipsychotic drug to her daughter.[2] The seizure of the then 13-year old caused a firestorm of press and public outcry.[3] By December 11th, 2011, nine months and numerous court hearings later, Godboldo was acquitted of all charges, with the judge calling the court order that was used by Child Protective Services (CPS) to try to gain entry into the home invalid. [4]

Maryanne’s story began in 2011 when she chose to fight for the medical well-being of her 13-year old daughter, Ariana, refusing to give the child the dangerous, and potentially lethal, antipsychotic drug Risperdal.[5] What ensued from there is as follows:

  • With a “rubber stamped” court order in hand, CPS enlisted the services of Detroit’s SWAT team to go to the Godboldo home and remove the child from her mother.[6]
  • After a 10-hour standoff with police, and assurances that the teenager would not be removed to a psychiatric facility or forcibly drugged, Godboldo agreed to end the standoff. Both assurances were not upheld and Ariana was taken to a psychiatric facility where the child was drugged against her mother’s will.[7]
  • It took days for Godboldo’s attorneys to locate the child in a psychiatric facility. Once they found Ariana, they discovered that the teenager’s prosthetic leg had been taken from her and she had been forcibly given psychiatric drugs.[8]
  • After nearly two months of legal hearings, Ariana was released into the custody of her aunt, while Godboldo awaited trial for the defense of her child and home.[9]
  • State prosecutors further attempted to prosecute Godboldo for an alleged “warning shot” fired during the illegal entry by police, in an attempt to seize her child. In March 2014, 36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles ruled that given the illegal entry of Godboldo’s home, “…the defendant, in fact, did use reasonable force…to prevent an illegal attachment.” Judge Giles further explained, “The Detroit Police did not have the authority to remove a child at that time…based on the invalid court order that was being used and presented.”[10]

Despite numerous dismissals of the criminal charges leveled against Godboldo by Judge Giles and Judge Bill and the appeals court, prosecutors continue to appeal the dismissal. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office stated, “We do not agree with the court’s ruling affirming the dismissal of the case in 36th District Court, and we will be appealing to the Michigan Court of Appeals.”[11]

In an exclusive interview with CCHR, Allison Folmar, Godboldo’s attorney and champion, says, “In many ways this case really puts psychiatrists and the pharmaceuticals on trial because they tried to do something that they had no right to do. There are a multitude of lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company that makes Risperdal. This is a devastating, harmful drug that should not have been prescribed for this child.”[12]

Folmar has no doubt that Maryanne will prevail, and acknowledges that many positive changes have occurred in the state and even across the country as a result of this case. For example, no more can emergency removal orders be “rubber stamped,” probation officers are prohibited from signing orders and the CPS no longer will investigate cases of parents who refuse to drug their child.[13]

Folmar sums up what she believes transpired in the Godboldo case: “This case has far reaching implications for parents, not only in Detroit, but across the country, to choose whether or not to drug their child. It is a case of misdiagnosis, misinformation and unrestrained persecution. Parents need to understand this is not an isolated case and it is happening across the nation far too often.”

Read the full article here.

About Citizens Commission on Human Rights: CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.

[1] Kim Craig, "Judge upholds lower court's decision to dismiss charges against Maryanne Godboldo," ABC 7 Detroit, July 11, 2014, wxyz.com/news/region/detroit/mom-accused-of-standoff-with-police-over-daughters-medication-in-court

[2] "Ten hour siege, a SWAT team... and a TANK: How police dealt with mother who refused to give her child medication," Daily Mail, April 15, 2011, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377178/SWAT-teams-10-hour-siege-mother-Maryanne-Godboldo-Detroit.html

[3] "Detroit Judge Upholds Decision In Standoff Mom’s Case," CBS Detroit, December 12, 2011, detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/12/detroit-judge-upholds-decision-standoff-moms-case/

[4] Kim Craig, "Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services," ABC 7 Detroit, Mar 14, 2014, wxyz.com/news/weve-won-says-maryanne-godboldo-after-judge-dismisses-criminal-charges-against-detroit-mom

[5] "Mother Battles Michigan Over 13-Year-Old Daughter's Medication," Fox News, May 22, 2011, foxnews.com/us/2011/05/22/mother-battles-michigan-13-year-old-daughters-medication/; "Risperdal (risperidone) tablets, Risperdal (risperidone) oral solution, and Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) oral disintegrating tablets," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, August 2010, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm225758.htm; "Dear Healthcare Provider," Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., Apr. 2003, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm168933.htm; "Risperdal (Risperidone) Apr 2003," FDA Safety MedWatch, April 2003, fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm153478.htm

[6] "Ten hour siege, a SWAT team... and a TANK: How police dealt with mother who refused to give her child medication," Daily Mail, April 15, 2011, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377178/SWAT-teams-10-hour-siege-mother-Maryanne-Godboldo-Detroit.html; "Charges reinstated against Maryann Godboldo, mom involved in police standoff over care of daughter," ABC 7 Detroit, May 29, 2013, wxyz.com/news/region/detroit/charges-reinstated-against-maryann-godboldo-mom-involved-in-police-standoff-over-care-of-daughter

[7] Heather Catallo, "Mom who chose to take daughter off medication files lawsuit, alleges daughter deprived of prosthesis," ABC 7 Detroit, May 10, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis

[8] Heather Catallo, "Mom who chose to take daughter off medication files lawsuit, alleges daughter deprived of prosthesis," ABC 7 Detroit, May 10, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis

[9] "Godboldo May Be Reunited With Daughter," CBS Detroit, May 6, 2011, detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/06/godboldo-may-be-reunited-with-daughter/

[10] Kim Craig, "Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services," ABC 7 Detroit, Mar 14, 2014, wxyz.com/news/weve-won-says-maryanne-godboldo-after-judge-dismisses-criminal-charges-against-detroit-mom

[11] Elisha Anderson and Gina Damron, "Judge upholds dismissal of charges against mom in police standoff case," Detroit Free Press, July 11, 2014, freep.com/article/20140711/NEWS01/307110149/ruling-upheld-Detroit-Maryanne-Godboldo-mother-antipsychotic-medication-judge

[12] David Sell, "Johnson & Johnson settles five Risperdal suits," Philadelphia Inquirer, October 06, 2012, articles.philly.com/2012-10-06/business/34280657_1_risperdal-suits-j-j-antipsychotic-drug; Sophia Pearson, Phil Milford and Jef Feeley, "Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Settle Five Rispersal Suits," Bloomberg News, October 4, 2012, bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-04/johnson-johnson-agrees-to-settle-five-rispersal-suits.html; "Risperdal (risperidone) tablets, Risperdal (risperidone) oral solution, and Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) oral disintegrating tablets," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, August 2010, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm225758.htm

[13] Heather Catallo, "Families torn apart illegally? Heather Catallo investigates," ABC 7 Detroit, May 9, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/removal-order; State of Michigan Department of Human Services, "Mandated Reporter's Guide," DHS Pub 112 (Rev. 2-13), michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Pub-112_179456_7.pdf