Parental Rights in North Dakota

North Dakota State Law and Parental Rights

At Risk!

North Dakota does not have a state statute that explicitly defines and protects parental rights as fundamental rights. Their laws regarding parents and children are available here.

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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."