Southerland V. Thinp Case Study

1340 Words 5 Pages
The mother contended that the probate judge should have dismissed the department’s petition because the department did not have legal custody of her daughter because G.L. c. 119, § 23A was unconstitutional, due to the fact that she was never afforded a hearing, when the department first took custody of her daughter. Id. The court went on to say that, “the fact that a mother is incarcerated, signals a higher likelihood of risk of danger to the welfare of a newborn infant”. 421 N.E. 2d 28, 33. There have been no other constitutional challenges to G.L. c. 119, § 23A. Like this case, our case is not about the unfitness of the appellant; our case is more focused on the long-term health, development, mobility, and education of the child. DCF’s …show more content…
Southerland v. Thinpen, 784 F.2d 713 (1986). If a legitimate state interest exists, that outweighs a parent’s fundamental right to parent, then, the government has the right to limit or suspend those rights. Id at 717. Accordingly, in Petition of the Department of Public Welfare to Dispense with Consent to Adopt, the court ruled that, although the state may not intrude into the heart of family relationship for other than substantial reasons, the state’s interest in protecting the welfare of children is a compelling state interest, which justifies official intrusion into familial privacy. Petition of the Department of Public Welfare to Dispense with Consent to Adopt, 376 Mass 252,264,381 N.E.2d 565, 572 …show more content…
Carter v. Lindgren, 503 .3d 26 (1st Cir. 2007). In that case, the father of the child was under indictment for child molestation and scheduled to stand trial. Id. The department removed the child from the parents’ home based on the father’s indictment. Id. The parents of the one-year-old brought suit against several officers of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families ("DCYF"). Id. Parents alleged that the DCYF officers were liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for infringing on their right to familial integrity under the United States Constitution. Carter, 503 .3d 26. They also sought damages under Rhode Island law, alleging infringement of their rights under the Rhode Island Constitution. Id. The Court stated that the Department’s actions did not rise to the level of due process violation. The State interest in keeping children safe overrode the parent’s constitutional right to parent their child.

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