Breastfeeding LS woman off the hook for now

October 25, 2013 

Laura Trickle of Lee’s Summit with her 7-month-old son, Axel Graham.

JILL TOYOSHIBA — /The Kansas City Star

A Lee’s Summit woman who faced a hearing to answer to a contempt of court charge is off the hook for now, but her case may be heard again next summer.

Laura Trickle appeared Oct. 25 before Jackson County Presiding Judge Marco Roldan, who issued a charge of contempt of court after Trickle showed up to jury duty in September without an adequate child-care alternative for her young son, Axel.

A stay-at-home mother who breastfeeds, Trickle told Roldan then that she had no other option but to bring the infant to court with her.

According to the Kansas City Star, at the Oct. 25 hearing Roldan said he would delay fining the Trickle and another woman $500 each until the end of the Missouri General Assembly’s legislative session in the spring. But should lawmakers not approve a measure that specifically exempts breastfeeding moms from jury service, Roldan said he would impose the fines.

“The judge stated he is going to follow the law, which is what he should do,” Trickle told the Star. “It’s the law that needs changed.”

According to the Star, Roldan announced through a spokeswoman that he had refunded a $500 fine paid Wednesday by a second Jackson County woman and gave her the same opportunity for a legislative reprieve.

Roldan set June 6 hearings for the women to review their cases and assess any legislative changes.

Twelve states, including Kansas, have laws exempting nursing mothers from jury service.

According to the Star, earlier this year, Trickle obtained a six-month postponement of jury duty while awaiting the birth of a child. But she was not prepared to serve on a jury in September, when she was called after receiving another postponement of about two weeks.

The judge expressed no opinion as to whether the General Assembly should exempt nursing mothers from jury service, only that he wanted to give legislators the opportunity to act before taking final action on cases that have received nationwide attention, the Star reported.

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