Punishment Dropped for Mother Who Brought Nursing Child to Jury - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Punishment Dropped for Mother Who Brought Nursing Child to Jury Duty

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A Northern Michigan mother back in court after bringing her breast feeding child to jury duty.

It's something an Osceola County judge had never dealt with before, and it caused quite a controversy. A breast feeding mother was turned away from jury duty because she brought her child to the trial, which is not allowed. She was called back to court today to explain herself.

Sophia Wallace, a mother of 8, was summoned to jury duty last month and brought her breast feeding child with her. "I explained to the lady taking the paperwork that I was breast feeding and I couldn't save up enough milk to leave her with a sitter," says Wallace.

But the judge ended up sending her home for failure to appear, and today made her explain why she brought her child to jury duty. "I was shocked and upset, I told her that I don't want to have to come back for a show cause hearing, I didn't know what else I was suppose to do," says Wallace.

"Had she told me she was breast feeding, I probably would have excused her but she didn't do that, she just came with her child and then as an after though, as far as I'm concerned, it was an after thought," says Judge Ronald Nichols, 49th Circuit Court Judge.

After apologizing to the judge about sharp criticism of him posted on social media, the judge excused her from doing 8 hours of community service.

The judge says potential jurors not allowed to bring children because they are a distraction and those selected could start the trial right after being picked to be on the jury.