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Breastfeeding mom faces contempt of court for bringing her baby to jury duty

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Breastfeeding mom faces contempt of court for bringing her baby to jury duty

Oct 21, 2013, 12:17 pm CDT

Updated: A breastfeeding Missouri woman facing a contempt of court case for bringing her baby to court for jury selection has been granted a reprieve.

At a Thursday hearing, Jackson County Presiding Judge Marco A. Roldan told Laura Trickle of Lee’s Summit that he would take the matter under advisement. He said he expects legislative change to authorize a breastfeeding exception for jury duty because of the media attention Trickle’s contempt case has gotten, KSHB reports.

A court document said that on Sept. 3 Trickle “willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child,” according to KCTV and the Kansas City Star.

Trickle told KCTV the situation is “really scary” and stressful. “I’ve never even had a speeding ticket, so I have zero experience with legal issues,” she said. The potential fine is $500, which translates to a lot of diapers, Trickle told the broadcast station.

Earlier, Roldan spoke with the Kansas City Star and said that breastfeeding mothers could use a private room to pump milk that can be used for their children later, or the moms can bring a caregiver to the courthouse and then breastfeed in a private room during breaks.

Trickle says her son doesn’t take a bottle, and she doesn’t have child care.

Breastfeeding moms qualify for a jury duty exemption in 12 states, including Kansas, the stories say. Jackson County is on the Missouri-Kansas border, so had she been living one county to the west, she would have been exempt.

When she was pregnant, Trickle was excused from jury duty, because Missouri does allow exemptions on that basis, the KSHB article notes.

Hat tip to the New York Daily News.

See also:

Associated Press: “Contempt Ruling on Hold for Breastfeeding Mo. Mom”

Kansas City Star: “Jackson County judge delays contempt fine against breastfeeding mother facing jury duty

Updated on Oct. 24 to include new information from KSHB article and link to additional coverage.

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