All Charges Dropped Against Mom Who Refused to Allow Her Daughter to Be Taken, Drugged


When police came to enforce a 2011 court order to remove her 13-year-old daughter Arianna, and medicate her, Maryann Golboldo stood her ground – for eight hours, and fired a shot into her ceiling – rather than allow her daughter to be medicated with Risperdal again.  Goldboldo claimed the drug had caused her daughter to be “horribly ill . . . aggressive and violent.” An appeals court judge has dropped all charges against Goldboro, and given her custody of her daughter.  “This court finds that the defendant in fact did use reasonable force in this case . . . to prevent the removal of her child by the Detroit police,”

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Of further interest:
Local 4 interviews Detroit mother Maryanne Godboldo (Local 4)

From the interview:

“Arianna is coming along, but she is still very ill. There was a lot of damage done to her emotionally and physically . . . The damage done to my daughter is irreversible and I was unable to protect her for the five weeks she was in the hospital at Hawthorne.”

Judge Drops Case Against Mom Who Refused to Drug Daughter (WND)
Justice for Maryanne Godboldo (Facebook)
Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services (WXYZ – ABC Detroit)
Judge dismisses criminal case against Detroit mother charged after 2011 standoff with police (Click on Detroit)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. More power to her! It’s time that parents start standing up to psychiatrists, drug companies, and supposed Child Protective Services that want to drug their kids into oblivion! We need to support parents like this woman in every way that we can. Why did the authorities want to give the child risperdal in the first place when she suffers from diminised cognitive capacity? More off label prescribing!

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  2. Don’t applaud this woman – give her a standing ovation !! Not only does it appear she may ultimately succeed in protecting her daughter from the local drug-pushers, she has made the news. If all we parents who attempted (and continue to attempt) the former had succeeded in achieving the latter, we might be getting somewhere.

    I have so far failed on both counts. The consequence of my unwittingly asking for psychiatric assistance with a distressed but harmless adolescent, and initially and unknowingly supporting ‘treatment’ with neuroleptics, but subsequently refusing further neuroleptics based on my observations of their ineffectiveness and harmfulness, was that the police entered our home on six consecutive days, looking for our by then terrified adolescent. Not because he had committed any crime, but because he was distressed and confused, and so must be dragged off in handcuffs, locked up and forcibly drugged against his and his family’s wishes. (The NHS prefer to call this ‘Sectioned under the MHA’)

    This and our continuing saga of law-enforced ignoring and overruling of sensitive and objective parental observation and opinion has so profoundly affected every acquaintance of mine who is a parent themselves, none of them would now dare take their child anywhere near a psychiatry department. I just wish I had made the acquaintance of more parents.

    I like to think that under the circumstances it is fortunate I am unable to buy a gun in Walmart in the UK. But on the other hand at least more people might have got to find out what actually goes on.

    Well-done Maryanne Godboldo.

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  3. Stephen, it occurred to me that the only reason this story made mainstream news was because the charges were dropped. And the reason the charges were dropped was because of a procedural error. So if the paperwork had been correct this mother’s efforts would have failed – the story needed a gunshot, an error by the court system, and the mother’s charges dropped for it to be considered of sufficient public interest for it to make the news. I also think it helped that it was a mother and not a father.

    Parents ARE standing up to psychiatrists, drug companies, and supposed Child Protective Services, every day and everywhere. But no one can support them because if the CPS and social services get their paperwork right the parent’s efforts fail. If the parent’s level of resistance is sufficient the parent is charged with some kind of unlawfulness and probably convicted, and no one hears about it because it’s just another innocent child detained and drugged, just another family shattered and just another day in the office.

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    • Thank you for sharing. All of your observations are correct. I don’t know what to do about it because the “mental health” system is so entrenched with the law and the courts now. It saddens me to hear about the struggle your family is going through. People don’t realize what they’re getting into with psychiatry until it’s too late and everyone is trapped. Perhaps we need to begin spreading the news to stay away from the system if at all possible. I’m glad that your son has you even though it’s difficult to protect him at this point.

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      • Thanks for your positive message Stephen. I don’t know what to do about it either, other than exactly what you suggest:

        Spread the word – if you think you can manage without the system, then manage without the system. If you don’t think you can manage without the system, find the strength or support to manage without the system.

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