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Maine Supreme Court overturns judge's ruling in divorce dispute over vaccinations

The Maine Supreme Court decided Tuesday that Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz needs to outline the reasons he gave sole medical decision-making powers to the kids' mother
Credit: dianaduda - stock.adobe.com

MAINE, USA — A York County District Court judge's ruling on a case involving divorced parents and medical decision-making of their kids was overturned by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court Tuesday.

In 2018, a lower court judge gave sole decision-making authority over the couple's two children to their mother, who believes vaccines for childhood diseases like measles and polio are not safe or necessarywhile her ex-husband supports vaccination. 

Tuesday's decision by the law court says Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz, who ruled in the mother's favor initially, should have noted in the initial ruling that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and scientists recommend vaccines for these childhood diseases.  

Moskowitz did not explain why he ruled as he did, according to court documents.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ordered Moskowitz to detail why he granted the mother sole decision-making power in the first place.

Moving forward, the mother will need to provide scientific evidence to her claims about vaccination, the court ruled.

In April 2020, the father asked the court to modify the couple's divorce agreement so that he could have more input into these decisions.