A Cook County, Illinois judge who barred a mother from seeing her 11-year-old son because she wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19 has reversed the judgement.
Judge James Shapiro raised the issue of vaccination status during an Aug. 10 child support hearing when he asked the 39-year-old mother, Rebecca Firlit during the online hearing if she was vaccinated. When she said no, the judge withdrew her rights to see the boy until she gets vaccinated.
In a surprise move on Monday, Shapiro issued another order that vacated the early August decision.
Shapiro’s one-paragraph order in the case of Rebecca Firlit gives no reason for his change of heart, stating simply that “this court hereby VACATES paragraph 3 of its August 11, 2021 order based on the absence of a pleading or hearing on serious endangerment” pursuant to Illinois law.
Reacting to the reversal, Firlit said “I’m extremely happy, I’m going to see my son right now.” Adding: “I know that they are going to say that I’m an endangerment to my son. This isn’t over for me.”
The boy’s father, Matthew Duiven, is vaccinated. His lawyer, Jeffrey Leving, said Monday the court’s order reversing the Aug. 10 decision was a mistake.
“I am working on an emergency motion right now to fight it.”