The Second Department determined Supreme Court properly denied defendant-mother’s motion to hold plaintiff-father in contempt for having the child inoculated for common childhood diseases. The separation agreement required that the parties consult each other on health decisions for the child. Father did not consult with mother before having the child inoculated. The separation agreement did not unequivocally prohibit plaintiff from having the child inoculated and the parties agreed the child would attend public school, for which inoculation is required. Therefore defendant was unable to demonstrate a violation of the separation agreement which prejudiced her:
The separation agreement provided that “[t]he parties shall continue to cooperate and consult with one another to arrive at decisions which they believe are in the best interest of the [c]hild with respect to health.” Despite this language, on two occasions, the plaintiff, without first consulting with the defendant, took the child, who had not received any vaccinations since the age of two, to get vaccinated.
However, the parties’ separation agreement did not unequivocally prohibit the plaintiff from having the child inoculated. Moreover, in light of the parties’ express intention to maintain the child’s enrollment in public education, and New York State’s then newly enacted public school vaccine mandate requiring such inoculations in order for the child to continue to attend public school (see Public Health Law § 2164; C.F. v New York City Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene, 191 AD3d 52, 70), the defendant cannot demonstrate that she was prejudiced by the failure of the plaintiff to consult with her prior to having the child inoculated. Heffer v Krebs, 2021 NY Slip Op 04542, Second Dept 7-29-21