What was supposed to be a simple child support hearing turned out to be much more than a Chicago area woman expected. When divorced mom Rebecca Firlit was attending the virtual court hearing with her ex-husband and a judge, the judge asked whether or not she had received the COVID vaccine.
Firlit was not vaccinated, and as a result, Judge James Shapiro revoked her visiting rights with her son, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Firlit's argument is that she has had "side reactions to vaccines" in the past. On the advice of her doctor, she did not receive the vaccine. She added, "There is a risk."
The Sun-Times says it could be the first of its kind.
Fortunately, Shapiro appears to have had a change of heart and is reversing his own decision.
Shapiro has since lifted the requirement that she be vaccinated in order to visit her son.
"Chicago judge rules mom can't see her 11-year-old son because she hasn't been vaccinated." (via @USATODAY) https://t.co/NJgwgxuUnx
– Dan Nowicki (@dannowicki) August 30, 2021
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The hearing was about child support and other expenses. Firlit said she asked the judge what her vaccination status had to do with the subject of the hearing.
Cook County judge James Shapiro then reportedly replied, "I am the judge and I make the decisions on your case."
Her lawyer Annette Fernholz calls it a case of “assault” and adds: “The father did not even take this matter to court. So it is the judge alone who decides that you cannot see your child until you are vaccinated. "
What the hell is going on in this country ???
"Judge James Shapiro removed Rebecca Firlit's visitation rights to her 11-year-old son after he learned she had not yet received the vaccine." Https://t.co/ZwNgJIzkoM
– Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 30, 2021
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Judges add vaccinations to the conviction
Judge Shapiro may have exceeded his limits, but he's not the only judge in the country who takes into account the vaccination status of defendants who stand before him.
In Ohio, two judges ordered that defendants receive vaccinations as part of their probationary period. Two judges in Georgia have even reduced some sentences if the defendants consent to vaccination.
In Louisiana, a judge in the East Baton Rouge Ward has given defendants the option to get vaccinated instead of doing community service.
MOM CALLS JUDGE REMOVES PARENTAL RIGHTS TO VACCINATION STATUS: In a very unusual and perhaps unprecedented move, all parties agree that a judge in Chicago revoked custody of a mother for refusing to be vaccinated.
DETAILS: https://t.co/NuYlKXimHr pic.twitter.com/W2oKq7dH7G
– FOX 5 DC (@ fox5dc) August 28, 2021
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Update in case
In this case, there is currently a positive result. Rebecca Firlit's attorney, Annette Fernholz, said Monday the judge had overturned his order.
Firlit and Fernholz appealed the verdict on Monday morning.
Fernholz then said she had received a message from Judge Shapiro that he was "clearing parts of the previous order." According to the Sun-Times, Shapiro gave no reason to turn back.
Firlit said, "I am very happy, I will see my son now." However, this case is not yet closed. Jeffrey Leving, attorney for Firlit's ex-husband Matthew Duiven, called the judge's repeal "unfortunate". He also said, "I'm working on an emergency application to combat it."
Firlit says she knows a fight is coming. “I know they will say that I am a danger to my son. It's not over for me yet. "
The Cook County judge, who earlier this month banned a divorced Pilsen mother from visiting her 11-year-old son for not having been vaccinated against COVID-19, overturned the order on Monday morning. https://t.co/PjnWCoXIV4
– Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) August 30, 2021
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