Kansas City, Mo. • A Missouri judge said Thursday he is waiting to see if the legislature will change the rules for nursing mothers before deciding if he should hold a woman in contempt of court for refusing to leave her infant son at home while she performed jury duty.
Jackson County Presiding Judge Marco Roldan said he wanted to see if lawmakers would provide a specific jury service exemption for nursing mothers before taking action in the case against Laura Trickle, The Kansas City Star reported. Trickle said she took her 7-month-old son with her for jury duty because he wouldn’t take a bottle and has to be with her to eat.
Roldan also decided Thursday to refund a $500 fine he had assessed against a different nursing mother on Wednesday. He said he will re-impose that fine next year and call Trickle back into court on her contempt issue if the legislature doesn’t act.
When Trickle showed up in court in September, she brought along her son, Axel, hoping the judge would grant an exemption. Instead she received a court order saying she "willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child."
Trickle, a stay-at-home mom who lives in Lee’s Summit, a Kansas City suburb, said after the hearing that she was grateful for the judge’s decision.
"The judge stated he is going to follow the law, which is what he should do," Trickle said. "It’s the law that needs changed."
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