New Jersey’s Precedential Case Addressing Delivery Room Rights
Does a woman have the right to decide who is in the delivery room as she gives birth to a child? The case of Plotnick v. DeLuccia, 434 N.J. Super. 597 (Ch. Div. 2013), was the groundbreaking case that set national precedent in which a New Jersey judge said “yes.”
Our lawyer, Joanna D. Brick, Esq., represented the mother (Defendant), who was no longer in a relationship with the baby’s father (Plaintiff). Because the mother did not want the father in the delivery room, the father filed an order seeking to be notified and present for the birth.
Joanna fought to protect the mother’s privacy rights and bar the father from the delivery room. The Court agreed and ruled in favor of the mother, citing concerns for physical stress on mother and child.
“Any mother is under immense physical and psychological pain during labor. The order the father seeks would invade her sphere of privacy and force the mother to provide details of her medical condition to a person she does not desire to share that information with.”
– Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed
Additionally, the Court referenced Roe v. Wade, which held that women have the right to control their bodies during pregnancy. The Court also referenced Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which established that married women are not required to notify their husbands before an abortion.
The ruling came down as the mother was in labor, with Joanna in the courtroom fighting to protect her client at the most crucial moment.
While the first-of-its-kind ruling may not apply to every future case, it sent a clear message regarding the protection of mothers and fathers’ rights in the delivery room, and it will undoubtedly inform and influence future judges nationwide.
In The Media
This landmark case has been featured in news media throughout the United States:
- Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed rules moms can bar dads from delivery room during labor, delivery, News 12 New Jersey, March 11, 2014
- Attorneys Weigh In On N.J. Ruling About Keeping Fathers Out Of Delivery Rooms, CBS New York, March 11, 2014
- First in the Nation: N.J. Court Subordinates Father’s Desire to be in Delivery Room to Mother’s Privacy Rights, Rutgers Journal of Law and Public Policy, April 14, 2014
- NJ Judge Rules Mom Can Bar Dad From Delivery Room – Do You Agree? [POLL], New Jersey 101.5, March 13, 2014
- Dad can’t be in delivery room if mom doesn’t want him, New Jersey judge rules, New York Daily News, March 12, 2014
- Mothers can block dads from delivery rooms, New Jersey judge rules, Syracuse.com, March 13, 2014
- Plotnick v. DeLuccia, New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 2014
- N.J. judge: Mom can keep dad out of delivery room, NJ.com, March 11, 2014
- No right for Father to be present at birth over Mother’s objection: NJ Court gets it right, Daily Kos, March 11, 2014
- Judge Rules That a Mother’s Rights Trump the Father’s in the Delivery Room, Slate.com, March 13, 2014
- Does dad have right to the delivery room? HLN, March 13, 2014
- NJ Judge Affirms That Women Take Precedence In Pre-Birth Decisions Because They ‘Bear The Child’, Addicting Info, March 16, 2014
- Pregnant Woman Doesn’t Have to Tell Putative Father She’s in Labor Because Married Women Can Have Abortion Without Husband’s Knowledge, Says Judge, The Christian Post, March 12, 2014
- Passaic County Judge: Mother can exclude father from delivery room, The Bergen Dispatch, March 11, 2014
- Pregnant NJ women may ban expectant fathers from delivery room, Fox 25, March 13, 2014
- Judge Says Mom Can Choose To Block Dad From Delivery Room, Physicians News Digest, March 12, 2014
- Judge Uses Roe v. Wade to Ban Newborn’s Dad From Delivery Room During Birth, Lifenews.com, March 13, 2014