Justina Pelletier Case Update: Judge Returns Custody to Parents After Drawn Out Case

Justina Pelletier should be returned to her parents on Wednesday, a judge has ruled.

Pelletier, the subject of a drawn out battle between her parents and health officials, has been in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families since February 2013.

Judge Joseph Johnston wrote in the ruling made public Tuesday that Pelletier must go back to her parents.

“I find that the parties have shown by credible evidence that circumstances have changed since the adjudication on Dec. 20, 2013, that Justina is a child in need of care and protection pursuant to G.L. c. 199, 24-26.,” he wrote. “Effective Wednesday, June 18, 2014, this care and protection petition is dismissed and custody of Justina is returned to her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier.”

“It’s a wonderful feeling to see that this little girl will be able to go home,” Philip Moran, the lawyer for the girls’ parents, told the Boston Globe.

“She will be home with her parents, sisters, pets and friends. Hopefully well see major progress because this is what she really needs.”

Johnston was the judge who previously gave the state permanent custody of Justina.

But the Globe reported last week that the Department had shifted its position and said that Pelletier’s parents had met the conditions asked of them.

The young girl posted a video on Facebook recently, begging to be able to return to her parents.

“All I really want is to be with my family and friends,” the girl says, her voice faltering at times.

“You can do it. You’re the one that’s judging this. Please let me go home.”


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