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Breastfeeding Mom Brings Baby to Jury Duty

Nursing Mom Charged With Contempt For Bringing Baby to Jury Duty

Is breastfeeding an excuse to get out of jury duty? Not in Missouri, where mom Laura Trickle was charged with contempt of court for bringing her baby boy to jury duty, New York Daily News reports. Trickle says she brought her son to court because she didn't want to disrupt his breastfeeding schedule and she had no other child care options. However, Judge Marco A. Roldan was unsympathetic to her lack of child care. Instead, he determined she "willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child." She now faces up to a $500 fine.

Do you think this law is fair?

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yolandaschrock yolandaschrock 2 years
Some mention the hardship opt out. Well let me tell you some male judges are not cool and give no breaks. I was nearly due and had them do the required fax to excuse me when I was summoned and that judge said , " no, I had to show." I still believe the lady calling out jurors passed me up because she was kind. My baby was two weeks early. I say give us a break if we have a legit excuse.
LeahPino1361114831 LeahPino1361114831 3 years
Nursing mothers need to have more support. We don't know her circumstances. Maybe she should have taken care of this before showing up with her baby, but would they have let her get out of jury duty? Not all babies cry a lot; maybe she thought she could still attend and nurse at the same time. I don't blame her for not wanting to disrupt her baby's breastfeeding schedule. Many nursing mothers know that even one missed feeding can decrease their supply. Pumping can mess with your supply, too. My son wouldn't take a bottle or pacifier either, and I couldn't pump. So we should cram bottles in our babies mouthes until they take it? Is that how you "teach" a baby to take a bottle? I don't know what era people like Bethanny raised children in, but when my baby was hungry, the world did revolve around my ever loving boob! There is nothing magical or mysterious about formula or bottles either. Some mothers just choose not to use these things. What is the probability that a mother is going to die in her sleep? Who believes this garbage?
NatalieHaynz1363729764 NatalieHaynz1363729764 3 years
continued... I'll stop pumping now to be ready when I go for jury selection in the spring, but hopefully they will not chose me to serve. And I am not trying to escape a civic duty. I'd have no problem serving in a few years. I'd have gladly gone if they'd summoned me at any point in the past ten years that I've lived here. I am irritated with the whole thing. I apologize if this is long and I am sorry for any typos or errors.
NatalieHaynz1363729764 NatalieHaynz1363729764 3 years
First, I have to think she should have tried harder to avoid the situation. If she couldn't get out of going, at the very least, she should have brought someone with her to watch the baby, and then attempt to convince them to excuse her. I know that rules vary in local courts. I live in Colorado and received a jury summons (for my county, but I think the rules are statewide) for a date that was three days after my due date. I was aske to ask for it to be postponed. It came up again when my baby was three months old, but she was not taking a bottle and they allowed me to postpone again. It came up earlier this month and they made me bring a note from her pediatrician, to prove she was stibirthdaytfeeding and wouldn't take a bottle. I will be summoned again in the spring. Here they do not just excuse you for breastfeeding here. While some states, and the federal court, will offer permanent disqualification to the sole caretaker of children under a certain age, Colorado does not (interestingly, if you are the sole caretaker for a disabled or elderly person, they do). I have no family here and have never left my baby with anyone. It would be hard since she still breastfeeds frequently. I am not too crazy about the idea of leaving her with someone, unless her dad will be available and can miss work, for which he wouldn't get paid. Jury duty will reimburse childcare, but I doubt it is much. I don't know yet what will happen when they call me up again. I don't intend to suddenly stop breastfeeding when she has her first birthday next month, at least she can drink from a cup now. I'll start pumping now to be
Trish51939 Trish51939 3 years
Omg, what next? Leave her be. She's a breast feeding young mother. Probably didn't realise.
CoMMember13627574835074 CoMMember13627574835074 3 years
Being a breast feeding mother myself, I think it was a fair decision. Also, she should have responded immediately to the summons.
JAM282 JAM282 3 years
@Sally Backhaus -- I read the whole article, it did not mention hardship. From another source, I read taht a neighboring county offers an exemption from jury duty for BF mothers, but not this county. While there may be a general hardship application, this woman is not experienced with the law -- she got a summons, and appeared,and had no idea on how to apply for hardshipexemption. What source are you citing? The linked article has the judge saying there are 2 options: "...occasional breaks to pump milk to feed children later and bringing a caregiver to the court so the mother can breastfeed the child in a private room during breaks." As many know, this is not always an option - some women are unable to pump enough to adequately feed a child (or baby won't take a bottle), or even if this is not an issue they cannot arrange for a full-day caregiver, and/or cannot afford one -- so what then? Is this sufficient to sustain a hardship application? Is it consistently or selectively enforced? Is the hardship process explained on the subpoena to potential jurors? There are enough obstacles for nursing mothers, this should not be an additional one if the process of applying for a hardship is onerous, obscure, and selectively enforced (none of which this article indicates, but depending on the jurisdiction and judge, may be the case)!
SallyBackhaus SallyBackhaus 3 years
Before you get your panties in a bunch, you have to look up the whole story. She had multiple avenues to explain her "hardship" well before she was scheduled to show up. Had she taken any of them she would have been excused in advance. She couldn't be bothered to take responsibility until it was too late.
SarahReynolds5945 SarahReynolds5945 3 years
This is an outrage, if her baby is exclusively breastfed he needs to be with mom. if they are unable to accomodate breastfeeding women than they should be allowed to opt out of duty. Their responsibility is to feeding their baby first
EmiliaKoiler1370721671 EmiliaKoiler1370721671 3 years
None of us about her circumstances. Maybe she felt it wouldn't be a big deal, or maybe somebody was supposed to pick up the baby. She was doing her civil duty, and she should definitley not be fined, even if it wasn't the smartest way to handle the situation.
SaraRushton SaraRushton 3 years
Wow. As for the "babies should be taught to take a bottle" what you do is your business but you need to mind your own business. If a mother doesnt want to force HER baby to take a bottle and risk nipple confusion in some cases that is her choice. She should have responded to the summons right away but I had to respond to the ignorance.
Paula16285 Paula16285 3 years
Sorry I think I held the button down to long
Paula16285 Paula16285 3 years
If you wish to be judged by "a jury of your peers", you should do your duty. That said, a form arrives with jury duty where you can decline for "hardship". This has nothing to do with nursing, it is about jury duty and you need to know what is going on when you are responsible for someone maybe going to jail etc. This cannot be done with children in the room. It does not matter if she has family in town, a single mom etc. I agree with the judge. She did this because she is breastfeeding and wants the notoriety which she is now getting. I breastfed all three of my children but I would never think to take my child somewhere they do not belong such as a jury room. And to CaseyKonvalinka you do get paid for jury duty. I did make $20.00 the last time I was on jury duty.
CaseyKonvalinka CaseyKonvalinka 3 years
Unless this courtroom is somehow providing daycare, they have no right to ask a parent to drop everythjng, including their children, for something that they aren't even paid for. I find this utterly ridiculous!
AmieDavidson AmieDavidson 3 years
I am the biggest supporter when it comes to breastfeeding...however I have been called for jury duty twice while being a nursing stay at home mom. I have been dismissed both times because I had no alternative care for my children. So I cannot believe that this woman tried to get out of jury duty. Sounds like she was trying to make a statement that didn't actually need to be stated.
scouter9933 scouter9933 3 years
To Brittany, My daughter is 21 years old and she never took to a bottle either. At 11 1/2 months she took to a cup and I went through a LOT of babysitters because all she did was cry if she didn't get breastfed when she was suppose to. I pumped and I tried every bottle under the sun - my mother-in-law (who was awesome!) could not even get her to take a bottle. If a child will not feed any other way, it is not the mother's fault. To DonnaMarie - yes, it is a serious legal proceeding and the judge should have postponed this woman's jury duty until the child was weaned (6 months would have made all of the difference). She was not unwilling to serve, she had no other options. IF she could not find child care options, then she could not. Not everyone has the support of friends and family where they live. Some people, due to jobs/spouses are not near enough to family to take those options. And the pay that you get for jury duty barely covers the expense of the lunch - let alone the cost for a sitter and the travel. Common sense should have prevailed. Obviously this judge has no idea what many young mom's are trying to do - and that is the best for their child. IF he had a child that would not bottle feed, he would have been more understanding. And this case has caused us women to fight with each other than to stand together in understanding... another instance where divide and conquer wins.
SaraCopherLangford SaraCopherLangford 3 years
I don't understand why it even came to this! In California you don't have to serve jury duty until you're done breastfeeding. You simply fill out your form and turn it in. Seems ridiculous.
DonnaMarieHolt DonnaMarieHolt 3 years
Yes. This is a serious legal proceeding and babies cute as they are can be extremely disruptive which in this situation is just not on. I have a case coming up and would not be impressed if someone did that. If she cannot express for some reason then she shouldn't be there. Court is stressful enough without a baby crying & her attention wouldn't be on the case but on the child in front of her. I would hope for my case the jury would give their undivided attention & I imagine any victim would feel the same.
NatalieHaynz1363729764 NatalieHaynz1363729764 3 years
I'm sorry Bethany, my daughter never would take a bottle. We tried every reccomendation to get it to work, but she wouldn't. Now, at 11 months, she can drink from a cup, but not a sippy cup. I manage to get everything done that I need to. It isn't an excuse. And even the experts say some babies will never accept a bottle.
bethanyhendrick1361214705 bethanyhendrick1361214705 3 years
Sorry, I may be old but women today just make every excuse in the book to get their way. The Missouri mother said she couldn't leave her baby because he/she won't take a bottle and will only breastfeed. How utterly ridiculous and selfish is this mother? What would happen if she should die in her sleep or have a serious car accident and be laid up in the hospital in a coma for 6 months? As nice as breastfeeding is for the baby (and ladies you're not alone we've all done it....it's nothing new, magical or mysterious) some time reality has to click in and you have to realize the world does NOT revolve around you or your child and your ever loving breast. Sometimes women use this as an excuse to not get anything done, have any responsibilities or to do anything outside the home. A baby should be taught how to take a bottle even if breastfeeding because it's a necessity in case of an emergency. Way back when we would pump and freeze or keep a couple days worth in the fridge. Yes, we had fridges back then and common sense. Get over yourself.
yolandaschrock yolandaschrock 3 years
This is insane. I'm a SAH breastfeeding mom who will be taking my kids if I'm called. I keep my children all day every day and if they so desperately need jurors they'll have to take my kids, crying and all. I'm very careful about leaving my kids with other people and most of my family members work so...... Get over it. I'm much to busy raising a future generation that we can be proud of to feel sorry for them with all their repeat offenders and problem citizens. So...guess I'll be paying a fine as well. :-)
LoriPittard LoriPittard 3 years
I had this come up with my 2nd baby, and I immediately filled out the paperwork to ask to be excused. I knew I couldn't take my baby and wouldn't be able to pump if I were on the jury for a full day or even multiple days. I was lucky that they excused me. If she didn't have that option, then I guess she did what she needed to do. I think $500 is ridiculous, assuming that she asked to be excused and was denied.
TaraSimpson13546 TaraSimpson13546 3 years
I don't think she should have come to court with her baby. Jury duty is like a job and you don't take your baby to work. If she didn't want to disrupt his feeding schedule or couldn't fine care then she should have filled out the paperwork to get out of it. However, charging her with a 500$ fine is ridiculous.
SusanWalker90357 SusanWalker90357 3 years
I feel for that momma! When you live far away from close friends and family, how are you expected to find child care? What's worse, if you want to give your baby the best by nursing, who can nurse (or pump) and still serve on a jury? It's not right they are giving her such a hard time.
MeganMcClain26585 MeganMcClain26585 3 years
I got out of mine in CA through the mail but my friend, even though she filled out the paperwork and sent it right back in, was denied. She took her son to jury duty and was immediately excused.
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