Parental Rights in North Dakota

North Dakota Parental Rights News

Calls Needed to Advance Parental Rights Bill in North Dakota

February 7, 2023

On January 16, six North Dakota state representatives and five state senators introduced House Bill 1403 “relating to prohibiting governmental entities from interfering with parental rights.” The bill guarantees the “fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of the parent’s child” and prohibits any government entity from…

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North Dakota State Law and Parental Rights


North Dakota House Bill 1362 was signed on May 18th, 2023.

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North Dakota Courts and Parental Rights

At Risk!

While the North Dakota Supreme Court applied strict scrutiny to parental rights in the past, since Troxel this standard has become fluid.

In particular, in In Re: S.B., M.B., and B.B. (2014) the court cited Troxel and held parental rights to be fundamental, but did not employ the strict scrutiny test. Instead, it employed the Troxel test word-for-word:

  • "'[I]f a fit parent's decision of the kind at issue here becomes subject to judicial review, the court must accord at least some special weight to the parent's own determination.'"

This is a departure from previous precedent clearly specifying strict scrutiny.

  • Hoff v. Berg, 1999 ND 115, 595 N.W.2d 285 (1999)
    "Thus, we employ strict scrutiny when analyzing statutory intrusions on parents' fundamental right to control their children's associations."