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Breastfeeding and Jury Duty, Q&A with Jake Aryeh Marcus, J.D - Page 2

post #21 of 45
That is a little shocking I guess you can not get pumping breaks, or rather, there is no protection that you are given one. I can't imagine being made to sit for hours, unable to pump, especially with a young infant in which you normally nurse every 2 hours or more often. That does seem to present a medical problem as it could cause an infection,etc (mastitis.)
post #22 of 45
I don't have kids yet, and I've been called twice. The first time was in college and I had no transportation. They weren't happy about it, but I got excused because of that. A few years later, my roommate got called, and wrote a letter claiming religious exemption.

If you know your state/county doesn't give exemptions to breastfeeding mothers, then why not just claim religious exemption? Obviously we need to continue to work on changing the laws so we don't have to lie, but won't this work for the time being? I'd much rather say that than risk my HFC (hypothetical future child) being taken to foster care because the judge is a jerk.
post #23 of 45
I was called while in Florida and had to pump on the bathroom floor. They came looking for me in the bathroom and knocked on my stall. I fortunately was not chosen.

In the county I live in NC, there are no exemptions for full time caregivers or breastfeeding mothers; other than a one time 6 month exemption for any reason. Each surrounding county, however, has an exemption. There are no state laws in NC though. There is an on-site child care area for children for parents serving.

I wrote our sentators and congressman to no avail.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaoskat View Post
In the Court I practice in, most of the Sheriff Officers who are on jail/courthouse duty will not allow you into the Courtroom with children, especially young children.

Basically fill out your summons information and return it requesting that you be excused because you are the sole care taker of minor children ages A-B, and that you are not able to afford or find child care. You will generally be given a pass/deferral for another time.
in some courts in some jurisdictions this works, however in many it does not. One must be sure that you have been excused from appearance before failing to appear for a jury duty summons.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMommy View Post
That is a little shocking I guess you can not get pumping breaks, or rather, there is no protection that you are given one. I can't imagine being made to sit for hours, unable to pump, especially with a young infant in which you normally nurse every 2 hours or more often. That does seem to present a medical problem as it could cause an infection,etc (mastitis.)

I absolutely agree that it does cause a medical problem and it should be seen as one. Bringing a letter from a doctor to this effect is highly recommended. It just doesn't assure you will get a postponement. If you must serve and you do believe you are starting to get an infection, it is important to inform the court so you can get a doctor to see you. It may take a judge being faced with a mistrial because a juror must be excused during a trial for court practices to change.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JlyGrnMigt View Post
I don't have kids yet, and I've been called twice. The first time was in college and I had no transportation. They weren't happy about it, but I got excused because of that. A few years later, my roommate got called, and wrote a letter claiming religious exemption.

If you know your state/county doesn't give exemptions to breastfeeding mothers, then why not just claim religious exemption? Obviously we need to continue to work on changing the laws so we don't have to lie, but won't this work for the time being? I'd much rather say that than risk my HFC (hypothetical future child) being taken to foster care because the judge is a jerk.

What sort of religious exemption? I don't recall ever seeing one and I don't think one would be easy to get.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajjr View Post
I was called while in Florida and had to pump on the bathroom floor. They came looking for me in the bathroom and knocked on my stall. I fortunately was not chosen.

In the county I live in NC, there are no exemptions for full time caregivers or breastfeeding mothers; other than a one time 6 month exemption for any reason. Each surrounding county, however, has an exemption. There are no state laws in NC though. There is an on-site child care area for children for parents serving.

I wrote our sentators and congressman to no avail.
The most successful efforts for legislation are those that bring together several interest groups. The has been a good bit of resistance to breastfeeding exemption statutes. However, primary caretaker exceptions bring together all people who are primary caretakers of children as well as elderly or disabled parents and spouses.
post #28 of 45
I'll be available for the foreseeable future. Please post to bump if necessary.
post #29 of 45
I'm from VA and I haven't been called for Jury duty yet and I have a 3yr old and a 3month old who I am still nursing. What is VA's policy on Breastfeeding mothers and SAHM?
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tati241224 View Post
I'm from VA and I haven't been called for Jury duty yet and I have a 3yr old and a 3month old who I am still nursing. What is VA's policy on Breastfeeding mothers and SAHM?
You are in luck! Take a look at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...1-341.1+706684 . Virginia Code Section 8.01-341.1 (8) states: "Exemptions from Jury Duty Upon Request:

8. A person who has legal custody of and is necessarily and personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours, or any mother who is breast-feeding a child,"

So if you get a jury duty summons, you need to ask how to make a request for an exemption. There should be a form. There may even be a box to check on the summons itself.
post #31 of 45
Thanks so much for the information.
post #32 of 45
Wow, Virginia is awesome! What's the law in NY?
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
Wow, Virginia is awesome! What's the law in NY?
New York is not so friendly. Every county has a different rule and for some you can't apply for a postponement via web. If you get a summons for state court in NYS, go to http://www.nyjuror.gov/users/wwwucs/ where you input your county. It brings you to the available rules for the county.

Now for federal court, you are in good shape, regardless of which of the four, count em four, different federal court district calls you. The info at http://www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.or...s/page0017.htm is still accurate as to NYS federal courts. Each one will excuse you if you have "active care" of a child under either age 10 or 12 (depending on the federal district). Either the form you receive or a contact number will give you the procedure.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tati241224 View Post
Thanks so much for the information.
No problem.
post #35 of 45
I'm in CT, and have a date to serve in the 1st week of January. I'm currently pregnant with my 3rd child (morning sickness was the reason I was able to postpone), and will be breastfeeding when I'm called. Any idea if I could get an exemption or what the law is here regarding mothers and jury duty? Thanks so much!
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishBounce View Post
I'm in CT, and have a date to serve in the 1st week of January. I'm currently pregnant with my 3rd child (morning sickness was the reason I was able to postpone), and will be breastfeeding when I'm called. Any idea if I could get an exemption or what the law is here regarding mothers and jury duty? Thanks so much!
In federal court - Federal District Court of Connecticut - the information you need is here: http://www.ctd.uscourts.gov/PDF%20Do...ver%20Page.pdf where on page 9 it states you can be excused from jury duty of you are: "persons having active care and custody of a child or children under 13 years of age
whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by the individual’s absence for jury service, or a person who is essential to the care of an aged or infirm relative;"

As for CT state court, the relevant statute is here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/pub/Chap8...#Sec51-217.htm . It appears that while you may apply to be excused on the basis of "extreme hardship" and are exempt of you are physically disabled, this will be decided on a county by county, court by court basis. There appears to be no clear state excuse or exemption in CT that would apply to breastfeeding mothering or people with primary care taker responsibility.
post #37 of 45
Yeah, unfortunately for me, it's a state court summons. Blah. No wonder they were so rude about everything when I called. The lady had said I'm legally required to serve within a year of my original date, no matter what. Sigh. Thank you for the help! I really appreciate it.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Aryeh Marcus View Post
New York is not so friendly. Every county has a different rule and for some you can't apply for a postponement via web. If you get a summons for state court in NYS, go to http://www.nyjuror.gov/users/wwwucs/ where you input your county. It brings you to the available rules for the county.

Now for federal court, you are in good shape, regardless of which of the four, count em four, different federal court district calls you. The info at http://www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.or...s/page0017.htm is still accurate as to NYS federal courts. Each one will excuse you if you have "active care" of a child under either age 10 or 12 (depending on the federal district). Either the form you receive or a contact number will give you the procedure.


ok, so... for my county it says:
Quote:
Children: Ages and an explanation as to why you cannot make arrangements for care, and if employed, documentation verifying your hours of employment.


So, will the fact that my child refuses a bottle count or, um, how would that work? (and I have to say, i'm so glad that I haven't been called since having kids since I'm a SAHM and have been breastfeeding this whole time...)

post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
ok, so... for my county it says:
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So, will the fact that my child refuses a bottle count or, um, how would that work? (and I have to say, i'm so glad that I haven't been called since having kids since I'm a SAHM and have been breastfeeding this whole time...)

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Hmm, that looks like you need to try the inability to get child care route. With a rule like that, you are somewhat at the mercy of whoever is making the determination of whether you meet the criteria. Might be someone cool or someone who is going to give you a hard time. Hopefully, you won't get called.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishBounce View Post
Yeah, unfortunately for me, it's a state court summons. Blah. No wonder they were so rude about everything when I called. The lady had said I'm legally required to serve within a year of my original date, no matter what. Sigh. Thank you for the help! I really appreciate it.

Well, there is a hardship argument. The person answering the phone didn't tell you about it so the next step is to ask how one requests excuse on the basis of extreme hardship. Don't give up until you have exhausted the possibility. It may not work but at least you can try.

Go luck!
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