Motions for immediate release based on constitutional violations and lack of emergency need for removal from home to be heard May 11
All you can eat Fund-raiser Thurs. Apr. 28
By Diane Bukowski
DETROIT – Juvenile Court Judge Lynn Pierce has given Hawthorn Center’s chief medical officer one week to consult with well-known Detroit physician and allopath Dr. Margaret Betts, M.D., and “attempt” to generate a “medically appropriate” joint diagnosis and treatment plan for Ariana Godboldo-Hakim, 13.
“The Department of Human Services (DHS) must immediately look for a placement with a relative,” after the doctors produce the plan, Pierce said during a hearing April 22.
The courtroom was packed with family members and community supporters of the Maryanne Godboldo and her daughter.
Pierce issued the order after a lengthy meeting in chambers with the parties in the case, including Godboldo, her attorney Wanda Evans, Ariana’s father Mubarak Hakim and his attorney Robert Freeman, attorney David McGuire, appointed to represent Ariana, and an attorney from State Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office, representing DHS.
Ironically, state law and DHS policies and procedures mandate that those actions should have been taken place well before Child Protective Services case worker Mia Wenk sought a court order to take the child based on her mother’s refusal to medicate her with a psychotropic drug, Risperdal. (See sidebar.) Wenk had been on the case only two weeks.
“I think we have made progress toward getting Ariana returned home,” said attorney Wanda Evans after the hearing. “I am glad Dr. [Margaret] Betts is now involved in the treatment plan and hopefully they will have her released within a week.”
Godboldo’s sister Penny Godboldo, said, “I am very happy that the judge put a one-week time limit on the doctors’ consultation with each other. I feel confident that Dr. Betts will do her utmost to make this work.”
Freeman told the judge during the hearing that he wanted to play a videotape of Ariana horse-back riding, dancing and swimming to show the normalcy of her regular home life, but the judge ignored the request.
Wenk and two women with her refused comment after the hearing. Wenk, seated at the hearing table as she waited for the in-chambers conference to conclude, repeatedly smiled rather smugly.
Wenk accompanied an army of Detroit police, using helicopters, armored vehicles, and assault weapons, during the seizure of Ariana from her home on Blaine near Linwood March 25. Maryanne Godboldo denied the police entrance to the home for 12 hours, before relenting after being falsely assured that her child would go to her sister Penny Godboldo’s home. Police claimed a shot was fired inside the home during the stand-off.
“The Godboldo Family alleges that Ariana has been unjustly deemed a Ward of the State and is being unlawfully held hostage at Hawthorn Center in Northville, Michigan,” they said in an official statement on the case. “[The] Detroit Police Department did not produce a legally validated court order, after Godboldo made numerous requests for them to do so. The Godboldo Family further contends that legally Maryanne Godboldo is within her rights to have custody of her child; that Ariana has been unjustly deemed a Ward of the State and is being unlawfully held hostage at Hawthorn Center.” (Go to to read entire statement.)
The case has generated outrage and support for the Godboldo family around the world, particularly from thousands of families who have lost their children to state action. Many contend state officials are financially motivated by federal funds received for each child placed in foster care.
Dr. Betts is a well-known Detroit M.D., who has practiced for 25 years. She has strongly supported Maryanne Godboldo’s decision to remove Ariana from Risperdal, prescribed by a doctor at the New Oakland Child-Adolescent Adult Family Center. Godboldo took her daughter there after she appeared to have a severe reaction to vaccinations.
“The medications Maryanne’s child was given have permanent side effects,” Dr. Betts said during a rally in Godboldo’s support April 4. “She was getting better under the alternative medicines. This was a case of her loving her daughter too much. If it happened to her it can happen to you.”
Godboldo signed a consent form, present in the court record, which stated she had the right to discontinue treatment with the drug at any time. The form, co-signed by Dr. Rajendra Kanneganti, reads, “It has been explained to me that I have the right to withdraw this consent at any time and can stop taking the medication at any time.”
Godboldo mentioned to personnel at the New Oakland Center that she had done so as agreed, after putting Ariana under the treatment of a different doctor to wean her off Risperdal. But the Center promptly reported her to Child Protective Services.
“The doctor I was working with had that consent form all along,” Godboldo said before the hearing.
In the event that Hawthorn and DHS do not move swiftly to return Ariana, Evans said, she has filed motions for the child’s “immediate release based on the constitutional violations, [and] lack of emergency constituting removal.” An evidentiary hearing on the motions is set for May 11.
At an earlier hearing, medical authorities for the state testified there was no emergency need for Ariana to be medicated with Risperdal. In March, the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in another case challenging the right of police to take a child in the absence of a medical emergency (see VOD article at http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=6790 ).
MaryAnne Godboldo still faces eight felony counts related to the stand-off. Court proceedings on those have been postponed until the state Supreme Court rules in another case where the defendant claimed he had a right to resist police intrusion into his home without a warrant, People v. Moreno 488 Mich. 1010 (2010).
The Justice4MaryAnne Committee is sponsoring an “all you can eat” fundraiser Thurs. April 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. in The Tournament Room at the All King’s Men Chess Store, 27170 Dequindre Road, Warren, MI 48092. All proceeds go to the Justice4Maryanne Fund. For more info, call 313-867-4841, or go to http://www.justice4maryanne.com/ .