The story of Maryanne Godboldo is a phenomenal one. It covers one mother’s battle with Child Protective Services and the Courts that has dragged on for years, and has caused a great deal of controversy surrounding Michigan’s child welfare system. In the most recent installment in this long and drawn-out case, Godboldo is asking the court to dismiss her case, for the third time.
Godboldo, a 61-year-old mother from Detroit, has faced unbelievable odds, with child abuse charges against her being brought, overturned, brought again, dismissed, struck down and then upheld by the court.
This heartbreaking case began back in 2011, when Godboldo refused to administer the state ordered Risperidone to her daughter, Ariana. Risperidone is known to be an extremely dangerous antipsychotic, with a high rate of death among it’s users. Due to the refusal, CPS determined that Ariana should be removed from her mother’s care for medical neglect.
DHS employees came to the Godboldo home and, with the aid of police and a fully armed SWAT team, forced their way inside after a 10 hour stand-off. The document they used to justify this action was a “writ”, which is a judicial order, but in this case it had been rubber stamped without a judge ever reviewing it. It has since been determined that CPS did not have a legal court order, or even a warrant signed by a judge, that allowed them to legally enter this family’s home.
Godboldo, in an effort to keep SWAT teams from breaking down the door and forcing their way into the bedroom where she was hiding with her daughter, fired a bullet into the air. After lengthy negotiations, during which time CPS promised not to administer Risperidone to Ariana, Godboldo agreed to relinquish her daughter. CPS, unsurprisingly, lied about the drug and immediately began Ariana on a steady diet of the dangerous antipsychotic. Godboldo was charged with firing a weapon inside a building.
Since the initial ordeal, it has been proven that CPS had no right to force their way into the Godboldo home, no right to take Ariana from her mother, and no right to force the girl to take Risperidone. Despite the numerous terrible errors and violations committed by the state in this case, the charges against Maryanne for trying to protect her daughter and herself were pursued.
In a confusing sequence of events, the prosecution brought charges against her, which were then dismissed, only to be brought again, and dismissed again. The dismissals have twice been upheld by the court, and yet the Prosecutor’s Office persists. The continue to doggedly force this mother back into court, time and time again, trying desperately to make her pay for something that she would never have been forced to do, if only they hadn’t violated the law in the first place.
Godboldo is now asking the court to dismiss the ridiculous charges against her for a third time. In January of this year, the Court of Appeals once again sent the case back to the District Court for review, where Judge Ronald Giles has offered the defense an opportunity to file a motion for reconsideration. Her next court date is scheduled for June 16th, and we continue to diligently follow this important matter concerning parental rights.