breastfeeding gets you out of jury duty??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been called for jury duty. On the form it says that I may submit my request for excusal from serving as called. I would normally have no problem serving, but I think it would cause undue hardship for myself and my 1 year old nursling. Has anyone here been excused from jury duty for being a nursing mother? If so, how did you phrase your request for excusal? Or, are there any suggestions? I have thought of a few ways to phrase it but I wonder what would be most effective.

Leo is a year old but still receives 6-10 nursings during daytime hours and 4-8 during the nighttime (and this is an "average" day - lately with walking and growth spurt, it has been more!). He will not take a bottle (of ebm), but will sort of (but not reliably) take a cup (of ebm, but will take water from a cup willingly). His solid diet is just now starting to pick up. I am a sahm and have not ever left him for more than an hour, and only with dh, never a sitter yet (no, I have no family nearby).

Do you think it is possible to get out of it for this reason? Thanks in advance for your opinions and suggestions!
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#2 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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I was excused from jury duty (in Canada) when dd was about 2 years old by writing a letter explaining that I was nursing and had no family/friends who could look after her during the day and it would be impossible to arrange a daycare spot on short notice and for an undetermined amount of time. I also emphasized the hardship it would cause dd. They didn't question it at all and actually telephoned me to say I wouldn't have to report in person to be excused that the letter was sufficient. I was so pleasantly surprised by the response. Good luck.
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#3 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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Give a try writing a letter - it can't hurt. Good Luck.

*~* A * Mama to C and A * *~* I blog - PM me for the URL
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#4 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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It will depend on your state. Here in TX if you are the primary care-giver for a child under 9 you're excused.

-Angela
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#5 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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California exempts nursing mothers from jury duty. I see that your location says "by the bay." What bay are you referring to?
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#6 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
It will depend on your state. Here in TX if you are the primary care-giver for a child under 9 you're excused.

-Angela
It's 10.
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#7 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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Here's La Leche League's list of breastfeeding legislation, fingers crossed for you:

Breastfeeding Legislation
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#8 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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I've never had trouble being excused for being a nursing mother in Georgia. Actually, I think it's a one year deferral, but I've been nursing then too, lol.

Jennifer
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#9 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your input. I am in California. Interesting about Texas and Canada, also. I just didn't know how forceful or technical to be when requesting an excusal. I don't know why I didn't think to look this up before posting, but on the CA website regarding jury duty, it states that if you are a primary caregiver, you may be exempt. (or something to that effect).

I was just afraid that the person reading my request would be like - oh big deal, she is nursing...that's no excuse! Some folks just don't understand, ya know? I will let you all know how it goes!

thanks again...

thanks for the link carsonmom (I was writing as you posted!)
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#10 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDSmomma6
It's 10.

ah, must have been 9 and under I was thinking of... thanks!

-Angela
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#11 of 27 Old 01-14-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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I was called to jury duty when I was 36 weeks pregnant, and they excused me, no questions asked. Additionally, they suggested that I write a letter saying I would be the primary caregiver of a young child to excuse me from future duty jury (I don't know what the age is here in Illinois). As PP mentioned, you don't even really have to bring BFing into it.
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#12 of 27 Old 01-15-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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I was excused for "being the primary caregiver of a child not yet in school, where alternate childcare arrangements would cause financial hardship." I'm in NJ.

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#13 of 27 Old 01-15-2006, 02:47 PM
 
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As of Jan. 1, 2006 in the state of Illinois any nursing mother can be excused (not deferred) from jury duty, no matter what age her child is. Also, if you are the primary caregiver of any child 12 and under and it would cause undue hardship to serve you can be excused.

Very proud of the bf laws in my state now we need to work on the midwifery laws

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#14 of 27 Old 01-15-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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I just moved from CA and the excusal is for nursing moms up to one year. I was fortunate to receive excusals while pregnant with my 2nd and 3rd, but they said that was too many excusals and that I would have to show the next time I was called to duty. Well as a SAHM who homeschools and now has 4 little ones, I was upset. Oh and they are not always "so nice" in CA, I hear of lots of pregnant and nursing moms, homeschool moms too being required to serve. There is a website somewhere on states with family friendly jury duty, they have lists of complaints from some states. A homeschool mom of 4 in CO whose dh was in the military overseas was required to serve, that bothered me.
I really liked the law in TX, which definitely was a big factor in moving here.
Good luck!!

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#15 of 27 Old 01-15-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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This was interesting:

http://familyfriendlyjuryduty.org/index.html

Jennifer
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#16 of 27 Old 01-15-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim
As of Jan. 1, 2006 in the state of Illinois any nursing mother can be excused (not deferred) from jury duty, no matter what age her child is. Also, if you are the primary caregiver of any child 12 and under and it would cause undue hardship to serve you can be excused.

Very proud of the bf laws in my state now we need to work on the midwifery laws
I am also in Illinois and SOO happy when they put that through!
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#17 of 27 Old 01-16-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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I got excused in West Virginia when ds was 16 months or so ... no problem. I'd be shocked if they wouldn't excuse you just for having a young child, never mind the breastfeeding.
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#18 of 27 Old 01-16-2006, 07:21 PM
 
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I was excused from jury duty in CA last year. I checked off that I was a primary caregiver for a young child and a bfing mom. If it worked for me, it should work for you! Good luck!
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#19 of 27 Old 01-16-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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I was excused for Federal jury duty but declined for local jury duty. Write the letter and good luck!
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#20 of 27 Old 01-20-2006, 02:25 AM
 
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I was excused just earlier this month due to breastfeeding, even though I'd been granted an exemption within the past year (for being pregnant and not being able to make the 1.5 hour bus trip each way to the courthouse). I wrote a very respectful, polite letter explaining that my son is exclusively breastfed and that if I were to serve, I would need 3-4 20 minute breaks durin the day to pump in order to provide milk for my son for the next day and in order to avoid painful engorgement. I don't know what their reaction was to that, but I was granted the exemption! good luck!
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#21 of 27 Old 04-08-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim
As of Jan. 1, 2006 in the state of Illinois any nursing mother can be excused (not deferred) from jury duty, no matter what age her child is. Also, if you are the primary caregiver of any child 12 and under and it would cause undue hardship to serve you can be excused.

Very proud of the bf laws in my state now we need to work on the midwifery laws
That is awesome! I just got my summons today, so I'm relieved to know that I don't have to worry about it.

Mommy of 3 super charged kiddos
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#22 of 27 Old 04-08-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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I'm hoping Indiana is lenient as well. I'm up for it through June 30th, but filled out my request asking for a deferral of at least 6 months due to exclusively nursing. I indicated that I could provide a Dr excuse if necessary. I sent in my form 2 weeks ago and haven't heard anything back yet so who knows!
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#23 of 27 Old 04-09-2006, 02:48 AM
 
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My state (KS) just passed legislation that allows bfing moms to be excused from jury duty. No age limit on the bfing child either - doesn't just have to be a newborn. I hope you get good results w/ your request!

ellacy
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#24 of 27 Old 04-09-2006, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I DID end up being granted a postponement, it was after I actually talked to the jury office by phone and sent in a follow-up letter/statement. Just a few days ago I received ANOTHER (!) summons and had to be on eternal hold again to talk with someone about it. I thought they screwed up my postponement, but it turns out I was just summoned again b/c my last name is hyphenated so they have me listed twice (once with and once w/o the hyphen).
I noticed that this time when I got the summons, there is a place to check off "breastfeeding mother" now. I commented on it when speaking with them and the lady said that they get that excuse so often now that they thought they should just have it printed on there...I took the opportunity to inform her that it is a more than valid excuse and why...(she seemed a bit "roll the eyes" about it all, kwim?)
all's well that ends well! thanks for the advice, everyone...
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#25 of 27 Old 04-09-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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thats awsome that they get that excuse alot. good for the moms in your area.
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#26 of 27 Old 04-10-2006, 10:41 AM
 
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It's good to hear all these nursing moms getting exemptions. I remember about 2 years back, there were some States giving nursing moms a hard time. The people didn't seem to understand about extended nursing and hardship. Seemed young babies were acceptable but nursing a 1 yo or older was not. Forget which states it was - north eastern ones I think. There were lots of threads about it - in Lactivism too. Maybe nursing is becoming more accepted.
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#27 of 27 Old 04-10-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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Great to hear that they are listening to the feedback from mums. Keep in mind that its not just 9-5 jury duty that you might have to deal with if you are called up. My DH did jury duty last year, and was sequested. He left Thursday morning and we didn't see him or talk to him til Sunday night (an attendant at the courthouse left messages from him with us).
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