The family of a California girl who was declared brain dead two years ago has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking to have her death certificate revoked, CBS News reported.

On Dec. 12, 2013, at age 13, Jahi McMath was declared brain dead after complications with her sleep apnea surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Oakland Children's Hospital. McMath's family rejected this declaration and elected to move their daughter out of the hospital and keep her on life support. Before she could be moved, however, hospital officials had the family get a death certificate from the Alameda County coroner.

McMath's mother, Nialah Winkfield, moved her daughter to New Jersey because the state law allows for a religious exemption to brain death findings. She hopes the lawsuit will allow her to bring her daughter back home to California and obtain health insurance for her there.

Attorney Christopher Dolan told CBS Wednesday that he and McMath's family have spent much of the past year trying to get state and county officials to revoke the death certificate and declare the girl legally alive, but with no success. The lawsuit claims that various officials, who are named as defendants, are violating McMath's rights by refusing to consider evidence she is alive.

The family lists several reasons why they believe their daughter does not meet the criteria for brain death, including the fact that her body remains in good condition and that she has entered puberty. She sometimes even moves on command, and based on this, they believe she should be declared alive.

"Nobody is saying Jahi is going to get up tomorrow and walk, but we're saying she deserves the same care as anyone else in California with a brain injury," Dolan said. "We want all of her rights restored to her so that she can come back to California."

The lawsuit is also arguing that the laws regarding brain death in general are unconstitutional, because they don't have any way of finding if death can be challenged or reversed, according to Dolan.

Winkfield said it has been very difficult for her to be so far from family and friends, and that she has been forced to sell her house, give up her job, and she no longer lives with her other two children. "I'm ready to come home," she said.

Dolan said he is providing his legal services to the family for free.