Heffer v. Krebs
Heffer v. Krebs (Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department, July 28, 2021): The Supreme Court of New York, appellate division, upheld an order denying a mother’s request for a change in custody and to hold her child’s father in contempt for vaccinating their child in violation of their separation agreement. The parents had joint custody of the school-aged child and agreed to cooperate on decisions related to the child’s health. The father, without the mother’s consent and aware of the mother’s religious beliefs opposing vaccines, had the child vaccinated for common childhood diseases as required for public school admission. The court refused to find the father in contempt or change custody, finding that (1) the separation agreement did not specifically prohibit immunization, (2) the parties had agreed to maintain the child’s enrollment in public school, and (3) New York State mandates these vaccinations for school attendance. The father’s actions thus were impliedly required to maintain the child’s enrollment in school. Read the full decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – October 15, 2021.