Mothering Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know Illinois laws or have any advice concerning what would merit an excusal from jury duty -- I am a SAHM of one child, a 22 mos old dd who still bf's through the night and day and has only sporadic and unpredictable eating habits with solids. Additionally, I have nobody to care for my dd during the day anyway (even if I had interest in doing that, which I don't). Needless to say, abruptly being unavailable to her to nurse would put her dietary intake in severe jeopardy, aside from being emotionally traumatic (obviously) since she still loves to nurse and relies on it.

Has anyone in IL dealt with this before? I know the laws are most likely different from state to state and this is giving me some anxiety -- I want to approach this correctly from the start (I don't want trouble!). I heard of one LLL leader who was summoned to jury duty and granted a postponement for bf'ing but then was harassed every four months afterward for summons to duty until she contacted her senator about it!

Any advice of what to do (or what not to do) in handling this would be VERY appreciated.

Claire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
I live in Indiana and was summoned several times while I was breastfeeding In Indiana they send you a form to fill out and I explained that I was breastfeeding and had no one to care for my children. I was excused and had no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
I'm in IL... I got a summons last month. I am a SAHM to my 21 month old dd and my 7-week old ds, both of whom breastfeed, so I can't go.

The letter I got said that if a person cannot attend, they must submit a written response stating why. I wrote them a letter stating that a) I care for two kids and have nobody else to watch my children and b) I'm breastfeeding so the newborn can't be away from me for more than 2 hours.

They did not respond, which I take to mean that I'm off the hook. (I hope!) I don't know what the actual law is, but I hope that this is a good enough "excuse."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
maria423 said:
I'm in IL... I got a summons last month. I am a SAHM to my 21 month old dd and my 7-week old ds, both of whom breastfeed, so I can't go.

Hi Maria423, So you never heard back? I thought they were supposed to send some sort of card or something, but I could easily be wrong -- I have never done this before! I live in the Chicago 'burbs (Naperville) -- are you in the area or downstate?

My dd still nurses around the clock -- at least once every couple of hours, or more frequently -- I just know it is inconceivable at this time for her and I to be apart for that reason. She has very marginal and inconsistent interest in solids (still!), though part of that may be b/c of teething and some digestive problems she has had lately. Anyway, I found some info online through searching this forum and finding a web site -- found the IL laws which state what they will excuse (see below):

Courts Jury Act, Public Act 91-0264

Gov. Ryan signed* into law 7/23/99

10.2 (b) "When an undue hardship caused by a family situation is due to the prospective juror being the primary care giver of a...child under age 12, then the county board, jury commissioners or jury administrator shall excuse such a prospective juror…"

FEDERAL:
United States District Court

Central District of Illinois Plan for the Random Selection of Jurors; Excuses on Individual Request (3)

Revised January 1999

(3) "... Persons having active care and custody of a child or children under 10 years of age whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by their absence for jury service; or a person who is essential to the care of aged or infirm persons …"

Illinois

FEDERAL

United States District Court

Northern District of Illinois Plan for the random selection of jurors

8. (3) Excuse upon request

Approved by the Council of 7th Circuit in February of 1991

a). "... Persons having active care and custody of a child or children twelve years of age or younger whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by their absence for jury service; b). Persons essential to the care of aged or infirm persons …"

Illinois

FEDERAL

United States District Court

Southern District of Illinois Plan for the random selection of jurors; Excuses on Individual Request (3)

Adopted February 23, 2001

"... Persons having active care and custody of a child or children under ten (10) years of age whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by their absence for jury service; or a person who is essential to the care of aged or infirm persons."

------

So I am going to write a letter and cross my fingers that nobody gives me any hassles!

Claire
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
I received a jury duty notice when DD was 9 mo's old. It came during a day I was hosting playgroup (all nursing moms) and they all said that to send the form back stating I was breastfeeding an infant, could not be away, and I had no childcare since I stay at home- all true. Within a few weeks I received a notice saying I was excused. I have not been called back since. this was almost 2 years ago. I also live in the chicago area and the jury notice came from Dupage.
That was also the 1st time I was called ever. DH has been called numerous times before. Even now though, if I was called I have no one to stay with DD on an extended bases if I was on a jury so I would have to say I have no one to watch DD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Amy,
That's very good to know -- hearing there are other mothers in this state who have been excused builds my confidence about this working out -- you hear of horror stories and such and it is easy (for me anyway) to freak out! I plan to let dd initiate weaning and also hope for more children (crossing my fingers) in the near future so I may be breastfeeding and/or otherwise quite "preoccupied" here at home for the foreseeable future -- hopefully they'll let me off the hook for a while!

Claire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,261 Posts
Good luck! I hope it all works out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So do I!! I will post a follow-up after I send in a letter and hear back from the jury admin. It was such a downer to get it in the mail, after all the stress of the holidays (groan) -- you can't blame me for wanting this little "problem" to just go away! Hopefully there won't be any hassles....

Claire
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
Hi Claire!

It took about 2-4 weeks to hear back. But I sent it in almost immediatly.

I also did a child led wean and it was well worth it. (off topic)

I would love to serve on a jury someday and do a civic duty but right now, I have to do my civic (as well as mother etc) duty and raise my dd!

If all else fails, get a note from your ped saying your daughter cannot be left by the mother cuz of bfeeding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just wanted to post a follow-up since I often look up past threads on various topics and figure there may be other bf'ing moms who get summoned for jury duty and would find this helpful. I looked up the laws in IL for what qualifies as exemption from jury duty and then wrote a letter; I received a postcard excusing me from jury duty as a response. Here is the text from that letter, in case this is helpful to anyone:

29 December 2004

Office of the Jury Commission
505 North County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187-3907

Dear Jury Administrator:

I am writing to request that I be excused from jury duty at this present time because I am the primary caregiver of a baby who is breastfed. For this reason, jury duty at this time would put my daughter's health and my own health into jeopardy and create a severe hardship for our family. I am requesting an excusal from civic duty for the reasons cited above, which are supported by Illinois legislation (Illinois Compiled Statutes 705 ILCS 305/10.2 (b), which states the following: "When an undue hardship caused by a family situation is due to the prospective juror being the primary care giver of a...child under age 12, then the county board, jury commissioners or jury administrator shall excuse such a prospective juror…"

If you would like a letter from our doctor, please let me know, and I will promptly provide one. I would be happy to serve on a jury in the future when our situation has changed. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

(put your name here)
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top