Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Florida Lawsuit Claims Court Enforcement of Parenting Plan For Circumicison of 4+ Year Old Boy Is Unconstitutional

In Florida, a dispute between the father and mother of a now four-and-one-half year old boy has led to the filing of a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state trial court order enforcing a parenting plan provision  calling for the boy's circumcision.  The complaint (full text) in C.R.N.H. v. Nebus, (SD FL, filed 4/13/2015), filed by the mother on her own behalf and on behalf of the child, names the boy's father, Dennis Nebus, as well as all judges and sheriffs in Florida, as defendants.  As reported by the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel and AP, the boy was born in October 2010.  In 2012, his parents who were never married agreed to a parenting plan which was approved by a Florida trial court.  The plan called for the father to arrange for the son's circumcision.  Subsequently the mother changed her mind about allowing the procedure and went into hiding at a battered women's shelter with the boy.  The father has no religious reasons for desiring the boy's circumcision. It is disputed whether he has a medical reason.

The complaint contends that under the circumstances of this case, forcing circumcision of the boy amounts to assault and battery and would impair the parents relationship with their son. It also claims that the child has been denied procedural due process. the right to privacy and bodily integrity, equal protection, and free exercise of religion. Explaining the free exercise argument, the complaint contends: "C.R.N.H. is Christian and the New Testament affirmative [sic] discourages of the practice of circumcision." The complaint stresses numerous times that its arguments are made in light of the child's current age and the lack of any religious reason for the circumcision request.