CHICAGO (CBS) — The 2 Investigators are getting results after after a critically ill man hoping to join his partner’s health insurance tried unsuccessfully for weeks to get his marriage certificate.
COVID-19 precautions shut down certificate processing in Cook County for months.
But on Thursday, CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey had a happy update.
Darien Means didn’t have time to waste after a difficult diagnosis, and he said he wasn’t getting any straight answers from the Cook County Clerk’s office until we got involved.
Means, of Uptown, said it started with a tickle in his throat.
“Where it is, they can’t get to it unless they go through the throat,” Means said. “At the moment, I have a tumor in my throat that the doctors say needs immediate surgery.”
Means had been on his partner’s health insurance for years, but was kicked off recently because the insurer stopped recognizing domestic partnerships in states where gay marriage is legal.
So they tied the knot, and Means requested an emergency marriage certificate on June 1.
But after a week went by, he started calling.
“Emailing, texting, tweeting, and it’s just a constant merry-go-round of I don’t know what to do,” he said.
Then, his application was returned to him with the check he sent.
Meanwhile, his medical bills are piling up, and he says his prognosis is uncertain.
“They’ve given me a date July 9, the office will be open. That may be too late,” Means said.
He meant too late for him – in a situation that’s downright heartbreaking.
“It’s heartbreaking to me,” Means said. “It will be to my family, to my friends.”
But minutes after we left Means’ house on Thursday, he got a call. Hickey had reached out to the Clerk’s office earlier this week about the case, and due to the urgency of the situation, a representative agreed to meet him outside the Daley Center to give the marriage certificate to him in person.
“Finally! Now we’re married. It is official,” Means said, “Thanks you so much to the Channel 2 Investigators.”
The Clerk’s office acknowledges that they’re still working through a backlog. A representative said they’ve gotten approximately 3,000 records requests since April 3.
Their online system is expected to be up and running next week.