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  • Vaccine Custody Disputes
    When clients and their attorneys are willing to hear my input, I am happy to offer it, and the local attorney and client ultimately decide whether to use any or all of what I have to offer. As a general rule, legal problems require legal solutions, so I don't see how the public can do anything to help people in legal trouble, but public outcry about a perceived abuse of power could potentially help raise awareness of the vaccine issue, generally, and who knows what else? I'm not offering legal advice about any specific case (and couldn't outside of NC with my NC license); but who knows what might happen when we resort to "out of the box" actions. We're all in uncharted territory here...
  • Vaccine Custody Disputes
    I can't offer legal advice here, and have to work with local attorneys when assisting in these kinds of cases. I have worked with over 100 around the country, and none have understood how and why the law with vaccines in custody cases is completely different from all other custody disputes. But the vast majority have agreed with my analysis after hearing it. The legal briefs setting out the full formal arguments can take more than 20 pages, but let me try giving a common-sense description of a couple of key pieces. The courts get their authority to decide custody disputes from state statutes. Well, so do parents who exercise an exemption. (There are no statutes telling courts that when parents disagree, every dad gets 2 nights/wk with the kids and mom gets 4; every kid in a custody case has to go to a public school instead of a private one; etc., but there **are** statutes requiring all kids to be vaccinated and providing specific exceptions...) If we assume that these statutes are in conflict (that the court's ruling under its authority from the legislature would necessarily be to vaccinate the parent's kids), we have to look to what are called statutory construction rules (that each state has) to see how to deal with those conflicting statutes. I have researched these rules in many states, and find that they are essentially the same everywhere, at least as far as I have ever needed to research them. These rules say that when statutes conflict, if one is specific and the other is general, the specific statute wins. The statute giving courts authority to to decide custody disputes is a general statute that says, effectively, "courts must decide custody disputes based on what's in the child's best interests," and the court has to look at evidence to determine that. However, the exemption statute is very specific, saying in effect; "If a parent does xyz, their child is exempt..." So, the specific exemption statute wins. There's a separate legal argument; where parents have religious objections to vaccines, their Constitutional religious freedom, a federal Constitutional right, trumps any state law--here, the state law giving state courts authority to rule on custody disputes. Religious isn't an absolute right; if there is an imminent risk of harm, according to the US Supreme Court, safety concerns trump religion. But routine vaccines concern hypothetical future disease exposure, so by definition, there is no imminent risk. So, in many of these cases around the country, there are 2 completely separate legal bases for the proposition that courts have no authority to order vaccines at all, let alone impose any penalties. But in my experience, family law attorneys and courts are clueless about this. They never consider the possibility that there might be a situation that is an exception to the usual way of doing things. As I'm the only attorney in the country who does what I do, if parents in these cases don't reach out to me in time, there chances of winning are slim to none. Worse, there are medical doctors dispensing erroneous legal advice so that they can be highly paid expert witnesses in these cases, but you can't win by having an alternative medical doctor testify, because for every one that will tell the truth about vaccines, there are 1,000 others who will disagree. Courts don't decide the science, the weigh the evidence. The majority of doctors, state and fed health agencies, and public policy generally profoundly favor vaccines. Court do NOT like leaving kids unvaccinated--they don't want to be responsible for a child dying of measles. So, you have to explain why the law **prevents** them from ordering vaccination--and even then, many will ignore the law out of fear of losing the next election (because a kid they allowed to go unvaccinated died from measles, etc.)
  • Vaccine Rights Attorney - Exemption & Rights Questions Addressed Here
    Medical exemption for what--vaccines that are required for school, daycare, college, employment, military, immigration...? Daycare, school and college vaccine requirements and exemptions are all at the state level, because the federal govt doesn't have authority to mandate vaccines for state residents. But military and immigration exemptions and procedures are spelled out in federal regulations, for example. In some situations, there may not be any exemption laws at all. For example, only 3 states offer religious exemptions for healthcare workers (ME also offers a philosophical one), so there isn't an exemption per se for other states. But, federal civil rights law provides an "out" for most employees on religious grounds. However, it's not a vaccine exemption law, it's a broader anti-religious-discrimination law that could apply to any number of conflicts an employee's religious beliefs and practices may present to an employer's requirements. So, the procedure is not as straightforward as ones for getting a school or daycare exemption. What I observe after working with 100's of healthcare workers nationally is that most hospital employers are deferring to CDC recommended contraindications for their medical exemption policies, but that's not necessarily a hard law or line. What qualifies for a medical exemption legally in that situation may not be completely clear. But for school and daycare exemptions, start by reading your state's statutes and state health department regulations, and the first instruction is simple regarding procedure for any exemption: do exactly what the law says--nothing more, nothing less. With school/daycare medical exemptions generally, you have to start by finding a medical doctor (or other qualified person; at least 2 states allow ND's to grant medical exemptions for school and daycare) who is willing to grant an exemption provided you meet your state's requirements, and then you have to qualify according to what the law requires. My understand is that there are a few or more MD's in CA who have granted medical exemptions, but it may be best to get a recommendation from someone. <see Larry's post above>
  • Vaccine Rights Attorney - Exemption & Rights Questions Addressed Here
    Vaccines for international travel, generally, are determined by the WHO's International Health Regulations, which require only yellow fever vaccines going in and out of sub-Saharan Africa and tropical S. America, polio for Pakistan, meningitis for the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. But when we stay for any extended period of time (and perhaps even with short stops as well), we're subject to the laws of whatever country we're in. If your son is from Scotland on an extended stay in the U.S., his vaccination requirements and exemption options would probably be dictated by the state he's in here in the U.S. You could email me privately for potential further discussion,
  • Vaccine Rights Attorney - Exemption & Rights Questions Addressed Here
    Thanks Ash. Nat News reformatted in a manner I could not work with, but my shows are uploaded to the YouTube Vaccine Rights Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9F4ptzf85Zl2mTskvJV3Aw

    Regarding private daycares and schools generally, and similarly, private employers, these institutions can accept or reject anyone they want to, for no reason (and many employers can fire a employee anytime they want to for no reason). However, what they sometimes misunderstand, as do some attorneys as well, is that they can't reject someone (or, in the case of employers, refuse to hire or fire someone) for an *unlawful* reason. There are layers to the legal analysis. For starters, we usually have Constitutional rights with governments, and not private entities, but there's an exception that applies where vaccines are concerned because of the "substantial ties" (as the law sometimes refers to it) between the private entities and government where vaccines are concerned. Vaccines are regulated by govt, mandated by govt, subsidized by govt, purchased by govt, and we wouldn't even have vaxxes at all were it not for the NVICP and the 2011 Bruesewitz US Sup Court case that virtually eliminated liability to keep the vax industry from going out of business...so, we arguably *do* have Constitutional rights with private entities where vaccines are concerned. So, if someone refuses to admit a child because the child is unvaccinated, and if the child is lawfully unvaccinated; or if an employer fires an employee with religious objections to vaccines; they may be violating the parents 1st Amendment rights (religious freedom) and 14th Amendment rights (right to parent your child, which includes medical decisions), and the employee's First Amendment (religious freedom) rights.

    What you can *do* about it, however, is a different question. How many parents will sue a daycare or school to force them to admit their child? Would you want your child going there if you did that and won? Also, courts tend to rule in favor of vaccines regardless of what the law says--they don't want to be responsible for an unvaccinated child dying of measles, etc. So, you can have the law on your side but still be stuck, as a practical matter--either lose your case when you should have won, or win your case but still not be willing to put your kid in that particular private school or daycare.

    Employees, where religious objections are concerned, can go to the EEOC for no cost if they feel their employer has discriminated against them (wrongfully refused their religious exemption request). It can take some time for the process to play out, but you can't beat the cost compared to hiring an attorney to file a lawsuit.

Alan Phillips JD

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