PJI Files a Federal Lawsuit Defending Father’s Civil Rights in Unlawful Removal of Child Custody

Glasgow, MT—  Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) just filed a new civil rights case in the U.S. District Court of Montana, Billings Division.

In this tragic case, Kolstad v. Baillargeon, et al, CV 24-55-BLG-SPW-TJC, a young girl with gender dysphoria was removed from her family. Despite the family’s active efforts to care for and help their daughter, Child Protective Services (CPS) workers—without a warrant or a hearing—took the young girl from a Montana hospital while she was under 24-hour observation and transferred her to Wyoming for in-patient psychiatric treatment.

Evidently, the Kolstads were not opposed to their daughter (referred to in court filings as “H.K.” to protect her privacy) receiving medical treatment, which was demonstrated by their initial decision to bring her to the hospital. Due to their religious beliefs about gender and sexuality, they desired to remain in Montana where laws limit a minor’s access to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone treatments, and irreversible surgeries. Wyoming’s state law, however, allows minors to undergo medical procedures for gender transition without parental consent.

PJI brings this civil suit against the caseworker and caseworker supervisor alleging two causes of action under 42. U.S.C. § 1983: (1) a violation of the 14th Amendment right to care, custody and control of the plaintiff’s daughter, including seizing the girl without a warrant; and (2) a violation of 14th Amendment right for child removal proceedings to be free from judicial deception.

“Not blindly ‘affirming’ a child’s gender dysphoria is not child abuse,” said Brad Dacus, PJI President.  “For the state to give no consideration to the facts at hand is an abuse of the child welfare system.”