What do AP SAHMs do about jury duty?!? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-16-2002, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
Breathe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 1,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am trying not to worry about this prematurely, but I have a friend who took her 9 mos old nursling w/her to jury duty this a.m. and was told by the clerk "get that baby out of here before I call DSS" and "if you bring him back you'll be found in contempt of court." She ended up getting her call postponed until Feb., but needless to say, she is freaking out, esp. since she tried to explain her situation to the MORON and was met even more hostility. She plans to go back in a few months w/out her ds and try to get out of there in only a few hours. (What if that doesn't work?!?!?)

What are we supposed to do if we get called? The clerk was very clear that nursing mothers do not get exceptions, so I'm sure there's no way in hell I could say, "he never leaves my side!" And you know they wouldn't be tolerant of a mother nursing a toddler . . . or older. (And let's be honest, I know there are ways around the nursing -- it's really the extended separation I'm talking about.)

Do we have any rights here? Is there anything we can do? Or do we just hide at home and hope we don't get called while the babes are young?!?!

Any experience with this? :
Breathe is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-16-2002, 10:32 PM
 
momto l&a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What state is she in?? Some states (Florida) dont have you serve jury duty is you have a child under the age of 1 at home I beleive. Other states if you are bfing wont have you serve jury duty. She might want to contact the LL and they should knows what the laws are for her state.
Sounds to me like that lady she encountered was rather craby! And in desperate need of an education!
momto l&a is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 10:34 PM
 
peggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 4,133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You may postpone jury duty in MA for up to one year without an excuse..just fill out the form they give you (I was supposed to start jury duty Dec 23rd, and I postponed until next October) That should give me plenty of time to work out arrangements for DD, who is very clingy now, but may be more ready to leave Mama for a short time next year.

Other than that I'm not sure what else you can do.
peggy is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 10:54 PM
 
Arduinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 31,187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just served. My dh is lucky that he has a pretty leniet job. SO he stayed with dd while I went. Wasn't even called.
Arduinna is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 11:03 PM
 
chfriend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: in a red state
Posts: 4,560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I see you're in NC. The Clerk of Court is an elected position by county. The person your friend was interacting with was probably the courtroom clerk (an assistant clerk). While it is likely true that an exemption cannot be given for motherhood/nursing in NC, mentioning calling DSS and having her cited for contempt is unprofessional and uncalled for. You may want to call the Clerk of Court and speak to the actual Clerk for your county.

Re: what to do if called for jury duty. Most service is very brief (a day or two). It can be a strain akin to a family crisis or illness, except that you come home at night. Difficult, certainly. For a longer trial, during the interview process you can make the attorneys aware of the fact that it will be difficult for you to concentrate on the case because you care for your little one. (It's no guarantee that you'll be off the jury, of course, but might help clarify your situation for the folks involved.)

You might also want to contact your state Representative and Senator about adding an exemption for nursing mothers performing jury duty.
chfriend is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 11:14 PM
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,573
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In Arizona I got called when I was still pumping milk exclusively for dd. She ws about 4 mos. old. I told the judge I would have a hard time finding and affording childcare first of all, and secondly I would have to be excused every 3 hours or I would start to be uncomfortable and leak. The judge was a woman and did not excuse me. One of the attorneys said he didn't think I would be able to concentrate well enough so I was excused. My dh stayed home with dd for the day.

The next time I was called was when dd was about 11 mos. old and that time I told them I could not afford childcare because we were a single income family and the trial was expected to last 6 weeks! I was not excused. I was mad because another mom was excused and her reason was that she could not miss her teenager's carpool!! Give me a break! But again the attorneys thought it should not be a financial hardship on me and they excused me.

I'm all for doing my civic duty, but that right now means raising my children well. Hopefully if I'm called again I will get excused on the grounds that I sat through the 2.5 week murder trial for the death of my baby brother (the murder was 19 years ago) last month. I never want to step foot in another courtroom if I can help it! Hopefully they will think I'm biased or something. And they would probably be right.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 11:46 PM
Banned
 
DiaperDiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Planning a move!
Posts: 2,083
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In North Carolina you can postpone jury duty as long as you have a young child who does not attend school and you are a stay at home parent. They will however call you every year until you serve.
DiaperDiva is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 11:52 PM
 
chfriend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: in a red state
Posts: 4,560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DiaperDiva: That's great! Do you know the procedure for getting this "extension?"
chfriend is offline  
Old 12-16-2002, 11:57 PM
Banned
 
DiaperDiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Planning a move!
Posts: 2,083
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
they will send you a letter telling you when you are to appear, return it with your postponement reasons. I would call right after receiving the letter and clarify this with the clerk of court.

A friend has a 5 year old and this happened to her.
DiaperDiva is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 12:24 AM
 
coracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: between the laundry baskets
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here in Georgia you do not have to serve if you are primary caregiver to a child under 5. I actually think this makes more sense than just having an exclusion for BF moms. You call the number on the summons form, give them your reason, they mail you a form to fill out, you fill it out and get it notarized (which was free at my bank a couple yrs ago but now costs a few bucks) and send it back. I was summoned almost 3 yrs ago and have not been called again. I don't know if they keep track of what yr ds was born and will automatically summon me when he's 5, or just wait 'til my name comes up again?

-Sue
coracle is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 12:26 AM
 
Peppamint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Not here
Posts: 12,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
: Isn't it awful?

Dh got downsized last April. He got a new job in June and promptly got a letter for jury duty. He replied to the form stating that he was still in his 'probationary period' and would lose his job if he missed and they never contacted us again. Whew!

My mom homeschooled us and was called for jury duty. I was a young teen (maybe 13?) and my little brother was 6. She had to leave us alone all day. The JUDGE had to bring her home because we had just moved to Indiana and only had one car (dad drove to work).

I'll fight it tooth and nail if they call me. I would just take my breast pump with a battery pack and tell them I had to pump and I could do it in the courtroom or another room, their choice. LOL
Peppamint is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
Breathe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 1,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks, Mamas. This is helpful info. DiaperDiva, I'll tell my friend to look into this -- if that rule holds true for all of NC, the little clerk helper (hah!) wasn't aware of it. I would be AMAZED if NC had such a progressive, family-friendly exemption, but wouldn't it be AWESOME if all states did?!?! And I agree 100% about which is a more important civic duty!
Breathe is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 03:15 AM
Banned
 
DiaperDiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Planning a move!
Posts: 2,083
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
NC can surprise you. It sure surprised me with it's breastfeeding legislation!
DiaperDiva is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 03:54 AM
 
merpk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 14,313
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just want to 2nd what chfriend said about contacting the court administration about that *&$#% who said that stuff about DSS ...

- Amy
merpk is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 09:58 AM
 
MamaOui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
==================
MamaOui is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 12:46 PM
 
kerikadi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Training in Houston
Posts: 4,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In Texas you don't have to serve if you stay home and have children under 10! I have been called once, I just had to sign something and fax it back.

Keri

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
kerikadi is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 01:51 PM
Banned
 
Moon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: living in shimmering disequilibrium
Posts: 1,311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got a jury duty questionaire to fill out and answered all the questions as negatively as I possibly could, along the lines of, "I think all cops are power happy thugs and most laws are both unconstitutional and unnecessary."

I never got called. Go figure.
Moon is offline  
Old 12-17-2002, 03:27 PM
 
Lucky Charm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: brett favre's house
Posts: 7,478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
when I was called for jury duty, i called and told them i was breastfeeding, and I was told i would be held in contempt, and if i didnt show a "bench warrant" for my arrest would be issued.

A**holes, its no wonder the judicial systems is the way it is.
Lucky Charm is offline  
Old 12-18-2002, 12:48 AM
 
mamamoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,920
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got called about 1 or 2 years ago, I just sent the letter back saying I was a sahm, I couldn't afford childcare, and I was nursing. I have not been contacted since.

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
mamamoo is offline  
Old 12-18-2002, 02:42 AM
 
HotMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Eugeneeweenie
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In Oregon we get a form with the jury duty letter and one of the three guaranteed excuses is breastfeeding. I don't remember how long that works. I do know breastfeeding is illegal in courts here What's that about?
HotMama is offline  
Old 03-21-2003, 02:41 PM
 
Zeppy3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by Breathe
Thanks, Mamas. This is helpful info. DiaperDiva, I'll tell my friend to look into this -- if that rule holds true for all of NC, the little clerk helper (hah!) wasn't aware of it. I would be AMAZED if NC had such a progressive, family-friendly exemption, but wouldn't it be AWESOME if all states did?!?! And I agree 100% about which is a more important civic duty!
Hi Breathe!
Although the Courts (or "little clerk helpers") may not tell you, there are *20* states that have a provision to excuse/defer from jury duty those who are responsible for the daily care of their young child or dependent family member! Another *10* are considering such legislation.

Go to this link and you will see which states, complete with each one's corresponding statute, have this wonderful, family friendly legislation!
States with Family Friendly Jury Duty laws

I had a very unpleasant experience with jury duty myself. When I asked to be excused because I was a SAHM for my 2 small children, the judge *refused*! When I told him it would be very difficult to make childcare arrangments especially at the last moment, he just dismissed my concerns with a reply of, "Don't you go out to dinner? Don't you get a babysitter for that?!" Finding a babysitter for an evening out at a pre-determined time is nothing compared to finding a (suitable) one at the last minute for a jury duty assignment that may last weeks!

I was so disgusted by this treatment that I've been working on getting Family Friendly Jury Duty legislation in my state (Kentucky) for the past 3 years. It has come *thisclose* to passing each session!!
My Senator I and will be trying again this coming January 2004!

There is a website that has tons of info if you would like to enact family friendly jury duty laws in *your state*. Check out this link:

Why do we need Family Friendly Jury Duty?

In my research, I came across this wonderful quote from a newspaper columnist in NORTH CAROLINA:

...“Under (North Carolina) state law, it’s far easier for a 66-year-old golf fanatic to dodge jury duty than a stay-at-home parent with two kids younger than 5. That doesn’t seem right...

Excerpts taken from
“Temper Justice with Good Sense” by Ruth Sheehan
November 15, 2001
The News & Observer

I hope things work out OK for your friend. Let me know what happens.

Best,
Zeppy 3
Zeppy3 is offline  
Old 03-21-2003, 03:17 PM
 
Peppamint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Not here
Posts: 12,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for posting that Zeppy! That makes me feel better, so I know that I won't have to worry about it for a long, long time since I do child-led weaning (IN exempts bf'ing moms who don't work).
Peppamint is offline  
Old 03-23-2003, 02:36 PM
 
applejuice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: hunting the wild aebelskiever
Posts: 18,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Whenever I got called to juryduty, I would bring the dear children with me, and explain that I had no daycare and could not provide it.

The dear children loved looking at all the big rooms on the way in.

And on the way out (soon after).

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
applejuice is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 12:13 AM
 
lucina3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never been called... a friend of mine did, they wouldn't excempt her for nursing, so she told them that she already knew the guy was guilty because Ed McMan told her so. They didn't call her again. :LOL
lucina3 is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 12:34 AM
 
Embee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 2,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Zeppy3,

Just wanted to thank you SO MUCH for posting that link... I am relieved to find out that my state (WA) is indeed a family friendly jury duty state.

I haven't yet been called but my DH was called recently. This is a HUGE financial hardship for us as if he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid. Since going from two to one incomes when my son was born, his paycheck is barely getting us by. Anyway, our county court is willing to work with him--asking him to come for just one day... seeing that work is no longer a viable excuse. And that's what I don't understand. If they are able to excuse me because of financial hardship/primary caregiver, why is not my husband not working (an even greater financial hardship) NOT an excuse. So far, they have worked with us and postphoned the date for him but they won't a second time. I told him to bring in his 1099 for the last two years, tell them how many dependents he has and ask them if they could live on less???? *hmpf*

Here, here on that nasty court clerk Breathe. I am intensely and continually disturbed by the lack of compassion (and common courtesy for that matter!), that goes around these days. It truly makes me sad.

Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
Embee is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 12:46 AM
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,573
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In my state (AZ) I was called right after giving birth so they let me put it off for 3 mos.

Right on time I got another notice. I was pumping at the time and told the judge I would have to be excused every couple of hours to pump. I also told her it would be a financial hardship to have to hire a sitter for the trial. It was supposed to be 6-8 weeks long! yikes! She didn't excuse me but excused another mom because she would be missing her son's carpool. Pul-leeze! The lawyer felt sorry for me and excused me because they said I couldn't concentrate on the trial.

Third time I was called I again told them it would be a hardship to hire a sitter. Again I was not excused, nor did they offer to compensate me for the sitter fees. My dh took off work to watch her for that day, and thankfully they decided they didn't need me.

Sorry that doesn't offer much hope. I would just say it's a hardship to afford a sitter and you are breastfeeding, and hopefully they will take pity on you. Also, avoid anything official such as a drivers license, name change, marriage, new SS card, or anything that will put your name into the system. My calls are always after I appy for something like that.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
Breathe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 1,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, zeppy3, thanks SO much for that info. I have bookmarked the link and will explore it soon.

My gosh, Embee, I never even THOUGHT about dh losing pay for jury duty!! I suppose he'd have to take sick and vacation leave and hope to get out of it quickly!

In terms of taking your children with you, my friend was told she'd be held in contempt of court if she came back w/her child. (Oh, and they can hold you in contempt also if you act like you're trying to get out of it by saying extreme things -- like, "Well I believe if you've made it this far you MUST be guilty!" Already thought of this and was advised by an atty friend to never try this!)

My friend ended up having to go in after a 6-month wait. She sat thru one day but was never called, thankfully. Her 1 yr old was at home w/his dad for ~7 hrs, the longest she had ever left him. At least he dh was able to take the day off.

Oy. If only raising your little ones was considered an important civic duty!
Breathe is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 06:14 AM
 
veganmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Yikes, living w/ my ILs!
Posts: 4,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can say that you can't concentrate on the trial because you'd be so worried about your baby who doesn't take a bottle, or say that you have to pump every 2 hours no matter what. What can they say? It's a health condition. (Not a bad one ) You could have SO or a close friend have baby right outside and have a pager if you need to leave while thye're picking the jury. You can also register as a full time student at an adult school and use it as an exemption. They usually have enough mid-semester courses that you can sign up for and then drop right afterwards and get a refund. Or you can live in a state that will exempt you for such things. I guess I'm jaded cause I live in CA and you can pretty much get excused for anything around here.
Lauren
veganmamma is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 04:17 PM
 
delighted.mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Midwest.....
Posts: 554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have some experience as an atty in this. Jury duty is a civic duty that includes everyone....young, old, sick and, yes, nursing mothers. People try to get out of jury duty ALL the time, because, frankly, it is a PITA. Pulling from experience, one woman didn't want to come to the criminal court house because it was "in a bad area" and she came from a very afluent area. Basically, the judge I worked for at the time didn't have a lot of sympathy for her. People from all walks of life get called for jury duty. We al lose time from work, family, obligations. BUT, that being said, it is our duty. We aren't asked to do too much for our justice system....just pay our taxes and stay out of trouble. Yet, we all expect it to work the way it should. Well, here is where the payback comes in!!

We enjoy the benefits of having certain protections in our society, both on a civil and a criminal level. When we sue someone, or when we get mugged, we want to go into a court of law and have an impartial trier of fact help us resolve our issues. IF we want that type of checks and balances in our society, we have to contribute to it in some way. Performing our civic duty is one way. Unless you have a legitimate reason (as it is defined by your state's statute) for being excused from jury duty, you are obligated to go. At most, you will miss out on one day (unless you get picked for jury).

Perhaps you can have someone bring your baby to you during lunch. OR, if you live close by, you could go home during lunch. There is usually a pretty long break in between. Hopefully, however, you won't even be in this position.
delighted.mama is offline  
Old 03-24-2003, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
Breathe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 1,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
delighted.mama, that'a an articulate explanation of why jury duty is important, and yes, I absolutely agree with you that each person who is called makes some form of sacrifice in order to serve. And I believe that these sacrifices are critical to the health of our nation -- you laid that out well.

IMHO, the point of this discussion, however, is that breastfeeding stay-at-home moms are in a unique situation; one that SHOULD be considered sacred by our culture/government. BF'd babies and toddlers who are at home with their mamas all day (and always have been) cannot "just" be farmed out to a babysitter or alternate caregiver without trauma. There is a significant body of research showing that sudden (and/or extended) separations from primary caregivers can cause great harm for young children (e.g. attachment disorders), and while I doubt that any of this research looked specifically at jury duty (which is "only" 8-5 daily), I can personally extrapolate and attest that MY child would be severely affected if I suddenly had to leave him with someone else for more than one day. (one day would be hard, but dh could probably fill in)

Children who are already in some form of day care or some other care situation have alternate caregivers, so they presumably would be less affected by having their moms/dads gone for a few extra hours/day/weeks. And let's face it, MOST children are in some form of care outside their own home, so the predicament faced by SAHMs is somewhat of a foreign concept to our judges, clerks, attorneys, peers, etc.

I know our courts DO make exceptions for people. So why is it SUCH a stretch to convince our legal system that breastfeeding SAHMs are NEEDED -- more than they are needed in a courtroom, at least for the near future. (and forget the AP persepctive -- the fact that we simply don't LEAVE our children during their formative years -- that would just be totally beyond the comprehension of anyone in this system!) Why don't ALL states see this as an important and legitimate exception, with the understanding that SAHMs can make up their duty when their children are older?

Really, tell me if is there is a situation that is more important than the mental and physical health of a young child. (delighted.mama, this is mostly rhetorial -- I'm not trying to put you on the spot -- you just got me thinking!) :

Hurumph!
Breathe is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off