WATCH: Justina Pelletier’s father and sister open up about the latest custody ruling

In a shocking decision, a Massachusetts judge ruled Tuesday that Justina Pelletier – the Connecticut teen who has been in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for over a year – will remain in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

As TheBlaze reported, Suffolk County juvenile court Judge Joseph Johnston granted “permanent” custody DCF. This decision was in response to a motion filed by Justina’s parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier, and her court-appointed lawyer for a “conditional custody” plan. Until this point, DCF only had temporary custody of Justina. That temporary custody had been in effect since February 2013.

Get all the details in the custody ruling HERE.

On Wednesday’s Glenn Beck Program, Justina’s father, Lou Pelletier, sister, Jennifer Pelletier, and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel sat down with TheBlaze’s Buck Sexton to discuss the latest custody decision and how they plan to fight back.

“It’s her life, her body. She should be able to be doing what she wishes… Her education has been completely broken… It just goes on and on and on,” Jennifer said. “I think it’s criminal the way these people have been treating my sister. I want her back home.”

Watch the interview below:

Get Glenn Live! On TheBlaze TV
  • Carla Jean Page

    BOYCOT THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HURT THEIR ECONOMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT SPEND MONEY IN THIS STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GET A RESCUE IN PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Barbara Bassakalis


    • Anne McCormack

      Impeach this Judge for miss use of office….where is the state of Conn. child protection. This is their resident why are’t they getting involved to help with the proper care that she has been getting for years from Tuffs and her family.

      • Jenn

        and impeach the stupid M O R O N in the white house for not doing anything about it…

  • Shawn L Gearin

    I grew up in Massachusetts. It doesn’t have the feel of freedom or liberty as it should, but the feel of a police state. I no longer live in Mass for just those reasons.

  • Anonymous

    Again, this is a tragedy where eventually the public may know exactly the full story. I continue to be upset and pray for Justina and the family.
    But two points about Staver’s comments.
    First, the fax cover sheet from the judge indicates that it was transmitted to the attorneys of record, the guardian ad litem and the juvenile probation department. Staver says the Judge himself faxed it to national media outlets. if true, the Judge should be sanctioned. It would be highly unusual for a judge to do that–methinks someone else sent it out–just as the Blaze obtained its copy anonymously.
    Second, Staver fails to acknowledge that the deal that was worked out with the guardian ad litem and the parents prior attorneys, to transfer Justina to Connecticut, near her home was torpedoed by Staver’s last minute pleading in which his law practice stated that the parents would not accept anything but full custody. The Judge cited this as part of the reason for his decision. Would the decidiosn have been any different had Staver stayed out of the case? Who knows–but so far he has not helped. Nowhere in his CV or online resume does Staver identify any expertise in representing children and or parents in custody cases. Indeed, he has spent nearly his entire career arguing the First Amendment religious expression clauses and speaking out against homosexuality. That he does not understand why he was not admitted pro hac vice speaks volumes about the difficulties of bringing in the out of town famous lawyer to a local legal proceeding. He selects an attorney twice subject to disciplinary actions, who also does not practice in juvenile court and practices outside of Suffolk County, to move him in pro hac vice. Why? Because that attorney was philosophically aligned with Staver; not because he was experienced. I feel sorry for the Pelletiers. When you need a tax lawyer, hire someone with an accounting degree; when you need a criminal lawyer–don’t hire someone who does residential closings; when you need someone to fight for your parental rights or your child’s rights, hire a person who actively practices in the juvenile court in which the case is located. Attorneys who try to make cases into national causes often lose track of the individual case. Staver did his client a disservice by arguing complete custody when transfer to Connecticut was at hand. a pragmatic instead of dogmatic attorney would have worked to secure complete custody after the transfer to Connecticut had occurred. Especially if that pragmatic attorney felt that the Judge was prejudiced in favor of MA DCF.
    Staver should go back and re read the history of the civil rights cases brought by Thurgood Marshall and his team. Pragmatic, fact specific, case by case approach over a long time turned around 200 years of denial of rights. But now, as he has an appeal which without his free legal help, would be financially unattainable for the family, hopefully he will focus on specific errors of law made by the Judge. That is his task–his task is not about making this a cause celebre.

    • Steven Lemmeyer

      That’s all fine and dandy but the right thing to do is return full custody to the parents. The justices system and lawyers (and all the bureaucracy with it) is the problem in this country. There is nothing wrong with requesting full custody; shouldn’t have to play these stupid trickle down games.

      • Anonymous

        There would have been nothing wrong with requesting full custody as long as the evidence was completely lined up in support of that argument. However I assume that the Pelletiers prior attorneys were concerned about whether they had the evidence to back it up. The agreement reached with the guardian ad litem had to have been consented to by the Pelletiers–when the conflicting filing was made with the court on behalf of the parents, by an attorney who was not even of record yet, it reinforced the Judge’s views about the parents–which the parents and Staver are claiming is prejudiced against them. As “clear and convincing” was the evidentiary burden on the MA DCF and the court had found that to be the case, there has to be some evidence not before the public that something is not right.
        Unfortunately, I think habeus corpus will not succeed. I do not know the rules in Massachusetts, but as far as an appeal goes, the family’s attorneys may need to file a motion requiring detailed findings of facts prior to the appeal being heard. A local, experienced attorney would 1) meet with the MA DCF attorneys and get them to agree to a jointly filed petition for an expedited appeal. (MA DCF has no interest in this case lingering either).; 2) meet with the Connecticut officials to prepare the transition to Connecticut. A self aggrandizing national agenda attorney will continue to try the case in the press.

        • fmconnel

          BOSTON GENERAL COMMIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            Dear fm: there is no such hospital known a Boston General; perhaps there was one on a TV show several decades ago. Perhaps you should read more closely. I am critiquing the last minute legal strategy of the famous out of town lawyer who is completely inexperienced in child custody matters with state DCFs. I think he blew it for the family. Commie?? what is this the 1950s?

    • fmconnel


      • Anonymous

        Dear fm: no I do not. Do you work for the John Birch Society?

      • Anonymous

        The hospitals involved are Tufts University’ New England Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Boston.
        In case you missed the judge’s opinion, GB provided a copy of it. After that check out these articles.

        Then check out the puffery of Mat Staver on his organization’s website.
        “But, following new legal pressure asserted by Liberty
        Counsel and intense media scrutiny, DCF permitted the most recent visitation tobe unsupervised. Rev. Pat Mahoney, accompanied Lou and Linda Pelletier to visit Justina. ”

        “On February 24, Mat Staver first appeared in the Boston
        court seeking to represent the family. DCF objected. The judge said that DCF had 48 hours to file any written objections. DCF did not, but the judge did not rule. “The delay tactics, hoping that the press will lose interest in this case, must cease. Justina must be returned to her parents’ custody and Tufts’ care,” Staver said.”

        Staver also publicly accused the Judge of kicking the can down the road twice before the Tuesday’s Order. Yep, that is what this judge thought would happen, the press would go away. Not only is Staver arrogant, but he is also a fool. Just because he is a Christian zealot, who has argued cases before the supreme court, that does not make him a good child custody lawyer.
        A fundamental lesson all attorneys learn early in their careers is publicly trashing the judge who has jurisdiction over your case (especially before you are admitted pro hac vice and its not even your case yet) is stupid at best; malpractice at worst. Staver entered this case to make this a national referendum. Just ask the Pelletiers former lawyers, Charles and Christine Tennyson how they feel about the success of Mr. Staver’s tactics.
        For the sake of the family, Staver better file a good appeal.

    • SL


  • Steve Taylor

    Glen, Do Some Thing About This !!! Besides Talk !!!! I’m Sick Of this !!! when Is The American Revelation going to Start !!! Enough Is Enough !!! Glen Again shut up and do some thing about this !!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      oh my you are up set…so sad….if you remember Stalin’s Russia did this to people nearly 75 years ago… sad..

    • Jim

      Glenn is just a guy on radio, tv, and internet. What do you think he can do that no one else can? Do you want him to lead a rescue operation into the hospital with a seal team? Probably not gonna happen…and wouldn’t provide the results you apparently want. Sometimes just shining a light on something is all someone can do…and it’s enough to get things started. Think about what happens after you give the 1st domino a push. Things happen as God intends them to happen. Have faith!

  • Shady Lady Sadie

    That State and Human Services are killing that little girl and should be held responsible. They should have to stand for their actions in an HONEST court system. The parents should have their child back for all their wellbeing.

    • Anonymous

      How are they killing her? Do you have evidence? Did you make that determination from a photograph of her in a wheelchair?

      Or did you just buy the narrative as it was fed to you?

  • Patrick Wood



  • Rex Whitmer

    Might as well get used to it. It’s the main reason the Dem’s and Lib’s want socialized medicine and everything else! “You do as they say or else!” You eat too much meat, you eat too much fast food, you smoke, you drink, We’ll do with you as we please! Little people get a lot of pleasure out of pretending to be Big people! You also loose your privilege to choose doctors and doctors can and will take advantage as this one has! It’s my understanding that the doctor that started all of this is an INTERN!

  • Anonymous

    I have one BIG question…. these people are absolutely violating her rights, and violating the law…NOT upholding it. WHERE is the president? Mr. OBama….. where the heck are you here? You should be stepping in and placing her back with her family with this amount of corruption going on in Mass. Oh wait….. you are part of them. How bout you get your act together for one moment and save a child!

    • Anonymous

      The federal gov’t needs to keep it’s nose out of issues that are relegated to the state.

  • Liberalism Is Nonsense

    Where new ways of doing things are prohibited, we reach a point where our current knowledge shackles us to the known ways of today.

  • Anonymous

    Mass tried to transfer custody to Connecticut a long time ago, but the parents threatened to sue any facility there that took her so everyone said no. Connectictut DCF make themselves look like idiots because they not only identified the parents as unfit and said that it was not in Justina’s best interest to live with her parents, they then also essentially said “but we don’t want to be responsible for her either.”

    Connecticut had every opportunity to receive custody and then immediately transfer it back to her parents, but apparently they realized it was a bad idea as well.

The 411 From Glenn

Sign up for Glenn’s newsletter

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the day.