February 12, 2024

Contact: Jeremy Newman
Phone: 214-707-8445

FFP Submits Amicus Curiae Brief Urging TX Supreme Court to Not Discard Parental Responsibility in Fallen Officer Case

LUBBOCK, TX – Family Freedom Project filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in the Justin G. Dart case before the Supreme Court of Texas, urging the court to uphold the principle of parental responsibility.   

At the heart of this case lies a fundamental issue: the potential for technicalities to sever parental responsibility over a deceased parent’s child. Justin Dart, born on September 19, 2000, is currently facing a legal battle to establish his paternal relationship. Despite clear evidence of paternity and a longstanding familial bond, Justin’s claim faces opposition based on procedural grounds, leaving him vulnerable to the loss of benefits and support.

The case revolves around Justin’s late father figure, Lorne Ahrens, a dedicated Dallas Police Officer, who was tragically killed by a sniper during a 2016 mass shooting in Dallas. Despite never formalizing their relationship through marriage, Lorne openly acknowledged Justin as his son and maintained a close bond with him until his untimely passing. Justin’s pursuit of rightful benefits meant to support families of fallen officers is now hindered by technicalities surrounding the jurisdiction of the trial court.

Jeremy Newman, VP of Policy at the Family Freedom Project, emphasizes the following in this case.

“Legal technicalities should never be used to sever parental responsibility over a parent’s child, even a deceased parent’s child. This practice not only undermines the well-being of children like Justin but also disregards the wishes of parents who would undoubtedly provide for their child’s future if given the chance. Parental rights and responsibilities are inseparable, and the court’s decision in this case holds far-reaching implications for countless families across Texas.” 

The Justin G. Dart case highlights the urgent need to ensure that parental rights and responsibilities remain intact, regardless of procedural complexities. The Family Freedom Project is urging the Supreme Court of Texas to prioritize children’s best interests and parents’ responsibility by ruling in favor of Justin Dart.