Judge explains citing breast-feeding mom for contempt of court - WNEM TV 5

Judge explains citing breast-feeding mom for contempt of court

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Laura Trickle and son Axel Laura Trickle and son Axel
Judge Marco Roldan Judge Marco Roldan

A Jackson County judge on Monday said that under Missouri law, potential jurors must do their civic duty even if they are breast feeding.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Marco Roldan refused to discuss his specific citation against Laura Trickle for contempt of court. Trickle was cited in September after she failed to make other childcare arrangements for her son who she is breast feeding. She brought her 7-month-old son, Axel, to the courthouse and didn't bring anyone along with her to watch him.

Trickle will face Roldan on Thursday, and could get up to a $500 fine. The citation has enraged many mothers, and some groups are vowing to raise the money needed to cover any fine imposed.

"It's not right. It's not fair for us. We're just trying to do what's best for our children and we shouldn't be penalized and fined for it," Trickle told KCTV5.

Kansas law provides an exemption for breast-feeding mothers, but Missouri does not.

Roldan said the court system does everything it can to help citizens with hardships. Missouri law does allow potential jurors to get a one-time postponement.

Court records show that Trickle received several postponements.

Roldan said court employees will work with county residents to get a new date to serve but then they are expected to be in court "ready to serve on that date." He said the court does an excellent job of working with residents and explaining to them what is expected of them.

If the Missouri General Assembly adds a breast-feeding exemption like Kansas and some other states have, Roldan would support that.

"If the Legislature tells me to, I'm going to exclude breast-feeding moms as I know how valuable it is. I would comply with the law," he said.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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