Judge delays punishment for breast-feeding mom

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Jackson County judge Thursday morning delayed punishing a nursing mother who refused to serve on a jury. The judge said he wants to allow time for lawmakers to take action to exempt breast-feeding moms from jury service.

Laura Trickle, of Lee's Summit, is accused of contempt of court after she showed up for jury duty in September with her 7-month-old son, Axel, and no one to care for the baby.

Trickle told the court her boy would go unfed if she served on a jury.

Jackson County Judge Marco Roldan said he recognizes great value in nursing babies but said Trickle broke the law by refusing to arrange for a caregiver to watch her baby. The court would have provided Trickle with a private room to nurse her baby and allowed breaks every 90 minutes for her to do so.

Trickle told FOX 4 News that would still make her and the baby jump through a lot of hoops. She says Missouri law needs to change.

"We're hoping that with this attention that the legislature will pass a law that will exempt nursing mothers," Trickle said. "Not only nursing mothers, but mothers with other dependents, disabled children or other caregivers, full-time caregivers of disabled adults that would need to be exempted as well."

Judge Roldan said bringing a caregiver and baby to court every day is a valid hardship. He delayed ruling on this case until next June. That would allow the Missouri legislature time to pass a law exempting nursing mothers from jury service. Roldan says if lawmakers pass such a law, the charge against Trickle will be dismissed. If there is no such law by June, Trickle will be found in contempt of court and probably fined $500.

Another nursing mom, Jennifer Dawn Ward, was recently fined $500 for refusing jury service by Judge Roldan. Ward and Trickle are part of the same Lee's Summit breast feeding support group. The judge will now also refund the fine Ward paid until June 2014, putting her in the same situation as Trickle.

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    • L

      Someone is losing the end here!!!She has tons of friends and family , lets be honest, She didnt want to go and serve her duty. She got her first notice way before time to arrange for this one. I hope justice is served and she gets fined and serve her probation or what ever the judge assigns her.. not good to lie, God hopefully do justice!

  • janis

    This is horrible. I am a stay at home mother of two in Florida. If they called me gor jury duty I would be out of luck. I do not have the money for a babysitter nor do I have family ir friends available on a work day to watch both of them. It would be interesting to see if they tried to hold me in contempt.

  • Mandy

    I have attempted to leave longer and more detailed comments, but obviously they were more lengthy than what is allowed. In short – I am SO proud of you, mama!!!! Way to go in standing up for what is best for your precious, adorable baby boy!!!!!